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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. Ekholm, Karolina, 1998. "Headquarter Services and Revealed Factor Abundance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 545-53, November.
  2. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Blomström, Magnus & Fors, Gunnar & Lipsey, Robert E., 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: Home Country Experience in the United States and Sweden," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 200, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Lipsey, Robert E. & Blomström, Magnus & Ramstetter, Eric, 1995. "Internationalized Production in World Output," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 80, Stockholm School of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Brian Aitken & Ann Harrison & Robert E. Lipsey, 1995. "Wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela and the United States," NBER Working Papers 5102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2000. "Production transfer within multinational enterprises and American wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 449-472, April.
  16. 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.
  17. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Karolina Ekholm,, . "Factor Endowments and the Pattern of Affiliate Production by Multinational Enterprises," Discussion Papers 97/19, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  19. 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.
  20. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Helpman, Elhanan, 1985. "Multinational Corporations and Trade Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 443-57, July.
  23. 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.
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