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Optimal Integration Strategies for the Multinational Firm

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Author Info

  • Gene M. Grossman

    (Princeton University)

  • Elhanan Helpman

    (Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, and CIAR)

  • Adam Szeidl

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

We examine integration strategies of multinational firms that face a rich array of choices of international organization. Each firm in an industry must provide headquarter services from its home country, produce intermediate inputs, and assemble the intermediate goods into final products. Both production of intermediate goods and assembly can be performed at home, in another “Northern” country, in the low-wage “South,” or in several of these locations. We study the equilibrium choices of firms that differ in productivity (and thus size), focusing on the role of industry characteristics such as the fixed costs of foreign subsidiaries, the cost of transporting intermediate and final goods, and the share of the consumer market that resides in the South in determining optimal integration strategies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics. in its series Working Papers with number 142.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:pri:wwseco:dp225

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Keywords: direct foreign investment; multinational corporations; intra-firm trade; vertical integration;

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References

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  1. Ekholm, Karolina & Forslid, Rikard & Markusen, James R., 2003. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3823, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1998, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2003. "Optimal Integration Strategies for the Multinational Firm," Working Papers 142, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  5. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Working Papers 147, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  8. 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.
  9. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Outsourcing Versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 317-327, 04/05.
  11. 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.
  12. Michael P. Keane & Susan E. Feinberg, 2006. "Accounting for the Growth of MNC-Based Trade Using a Structural Model of U.S. MNCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1515-1558, December.
  13. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry, and Multinational Trade," NBER Working Papers 5529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
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