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Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise

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  • James R. Markusen
  • Keith E. Maskus

Abstract

Recent theoretical developments have incorporated endogenous multinational firms into the general-equilibrium model of trade. One simple taxonomy separates the theory into vertical' models in which firms geographically separate activities by stages of production and horizontal' models of multi-plant firms which duplicate roughly the same activities in many countries. We refer to a hybrid of these two as the 'knowledge capital model'. In this paper, we nest these three models within an unrestricted model. Econometric tests give strong support to the horizontal model and overwhelming reject the vertical model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7164.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Publication status: published as Topics in Empirical International Economics, Blomstrom, M. and L.Goldberg,eds., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000, forthcoming.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7164

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  1. Ekholm, Karolina, 1998. "Headquarter Services and Revealed Factor Abundance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 545-53, November.
  2. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  3. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "An Empirical Assessment of the Factor Proportions Explanation of Multi-National Sales," NBER Working Papers 4583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
  7. Karolina Ekholm,, . "Factor Endowments and the Pattern of Affiliate Production by Multinational Enterprises," Discussion Papers 97/19, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  8. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1987. "Strategic Investments and the Development of Multinationals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 109-21, February.
  9. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Markusen, James R & Venables, Anthony J, 1997. "The Role of Multinational Firms in the Wage-Gap Debate," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 435-51, November.
  11. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-44, September.
  13. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
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