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Accounting for the Growth of MNC-Based Trade Using a Structural Model of U.S. MNCs

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  • Michael P. Keane
  • Susan E. Feinberg

Abstract

In recent decades, U.S. foreign trade grew much faster than GDP, but there is no consensus why. Notably lacking is an understanding of the role of multinational corporations (MNCs), which mediate over half of world trade. We use Bureau of Economic Analysis data on U.S. MNCs to study the rapid growth of MNC-based trade from 1983 to 1996. Using a model of U.S. MNCs and Canadian affiliates, we decompose this growth by source. Tariff reductions can largely explain increases in arms-length MNC-based trade. But intra-firm trade growth is attributed mostly to ?technical change.? We present additional evidence suggesting just-in-time production facilitated intra-firm trade. (JEL F13, F14, F23)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1515-1558
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1515
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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