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Firm Heterogeneity and the Structure of U.S. Multinational Activity: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Stephen Yeaple

Abstract

We use firm-level data for U.S. multinational enterprises (MNE) and the model of firm heterogeneity first presented in Helpman, Melitz, and Yeaple (2004) to make four empirical contributions. First, we show that the most productive U.S. firms invest in a larger number of foreign countries and sell more in each country in which they operate. Second, we assess the importance of firm heterogeneity in the structure of MNE activity. Third, we use the model to identify the mechanisms through which country characteristics affect the structure of MNE activity. Finally, we provide a systematic assessment of the model's shortcomings in order to inform the development of new theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14072.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14072

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  1. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  2. Bernard, Andrew & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J & Schott, Peter, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  7. Wolfgang Keller & Stephen R. Yeaple, . "Global Production and Trade in the Knowledge Economy," Discussion Papers 09/07, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  8. Keith Head & John Ries, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus Export Decision of Japanese Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 10052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc J & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2003. "Export versus FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 3741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2008. "FDI as an outcome of the market for corporate control: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 2-20, January.
  12. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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Cited by:
  1. Erdal Yalcin, 2009. "Uncertain Productivity Growth and the Choice between FDI and Export," CESifo Working Paper Series 2773, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bas, Maria, 2012. "Input-trade liberalization and firm export decisions: Evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 481-493.
  3. WAKASUGI Ryuhei & Hongyong ZHANG, 2012. "Effects of Ownership on Exports and FDI: Evidence from Chinese firms," Discussion papers 12058, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. Stanley Watt, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and Weak Intellectual Property Rights," IMF Working Papers 07/161, International Monetary Fund.

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