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Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise

  • David L. Carr
  • James R. Markusen
  • Keith E. Maskus

What we term the firm includes three principal assumptions. First, services of knowledge-based and knowledge-generating activities, such as R&D, can be geographically separated from production and supplied to production facilities at low cost. Second, these knowledge-intensive activities are skilled-labor intensive relative to production. These characteristics give rise to vertical multinationals, which fragment production and locate activities according to factor prices and market size. Third, knowledge-based services have a (partial) joint-input characteristic that they can be supplied to additional production facilities at low cost. This characteristic gives rise to horizontal multinationals, which produce the same goods or services in multiple locations. In this paper, we note how this model predicts relationships between affiliate sales and country characteristics. We then subject these predictions to empirical tests.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 91 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 693-708

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:3:p:693-708
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.3.693
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  1. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1985. "Multinational Corporations and Trade Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 443-57, July.
  3. Magnus Blomstrom & Gunnar Fors & Robert E. Lipsey, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: Home Country Experience in the United States and Sweden," NBER Working Papers 6205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1998. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 6773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ekholm, Karolina, 1998. "Headquarter Services and Revealed Factor Abundance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 545-53, November.
  7. 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.
  8. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  9. Robert E. Lipsey & Magnus Blomstrom & Eric Ramstetter, 1995. "Internationalized Production in World Output," NBER Working Papers 5385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Zhang, Kevin Honglin & Markusen, James R., 1999. "Vertical multinationals and host-country characteristics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 233-252, August.
  11. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony, 1996. "The role of multinational firms in the wage-gap debate," Discussion Papers, Series II 322, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  12. 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.
  13. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
  16. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Rutherford, Thomas F., 1995. "Extension of GAMS for complementarity problems arising in applied economic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1299-1324, November.
  18. 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.
  19. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables & Denise Eby Konan & Kevin H. Zhang, 1996. "A Unified Treatment of Horizontal Direct Investment, Vertical Direct Investment, and the Pattern of Trade in Goods and Services," NBER Working Papers 5696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2000. "Production transfer within multinational enterprises and American wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 449-472, April.
  22. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Karolina Ekholm,, . "Factor Endowments and the Pattern of Affiliate Production by Multinational Enterprises," Discussion Papers 97/19, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
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