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Selection and Market Reallocation: Productivity Gains from Multinational Production

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  • Laura Alfaro
  • Maggie X. Chen

Abstract

Assessing productivity gains from multinational production has been a vital topic of economic research and policy debate. Positive productivity gains are often attributed to productivity spillovers; however, an alternative, much less emphasized channel is selection and market reallocation, whereby competition leads to factor and revenue reallocation within and between domestic firms and exits of the least productive firms. We investigate the roles of these different mechanisms in determining aggregate-productivity gains using a unifying framework that explores the mechanisms' distinct predictions on the distributions of domestic firms: within-firm productivity improvement shifts rightward or reshapes the productivity distribution, while selection and market reallocation move the revenue and employment distributions leftward and raise left truncations. Using a rich cross-country firm-level panel dataset, we find significant evidence of both mechanisms and effects of competition in product, technology, and labor space. However, selection and market reallocation account for the majority of aggregate-productivity gains, suggesting ignoring this channel could lead to substantial bias in understanding the nature of productivity gains from multinational production.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Alfaro & Maggie X. Chen, 2018. "Selection and Market Reallocation: Productivity Gains from Multinational Production," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 1-38, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:1-38
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150437
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On the benefits of multinational firms
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-07-24 19:10:00

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    2. Carballo, Jeronimo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2018. "The buyer margins of firms' exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 33-49.
    3. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2017. "Trade policy uncertainty and exports: Evidence from China's WTO accession," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 20-36.
    4. Cathy Ge Bao & Maggie Xiaoyang Chen, 2018. "Foreign Rivals Are Coming to Town: Responding to the Threat of Foreign Multinational Entry," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 120-157, October.
    5. Laura Alfaro & Maggie Xiaoyang Chen, 2018. "Transportation cost and the geography of foreign investment," Chapters, in: Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson (ed.), Handbook of International Trade and Transportation, chapter 12, pages 369-406, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Bircan, Çağatay, 2019. "Ownership Structure and Productivity of Multinationals," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 125-143.
    7. Nelson Lind & Natalia Ramondo, 2018. "Innovation, Knowledge Diffusion, and Globalization," NBER Working Papers 25071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pineli, Andre & Narula, Rajneesh & Belderbos, Rene, 2019. "FDI, multinationals and structural change in developing countries," MERIT Working Papers 2019-004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    9. Carluccio, Juan & Fally, Thibault, 2013. "Foreign entry and spillovers with technological incompatibilities in the supply chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 123-135.
    10. Robert Anderton & Barbara Jarmulska & Benedetta Di Lupidio, 2018. "Product market regulation, business churning and productivity: Evidence from the European Union countries," Discussion Papers 2018-12, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    11. K. Yamamoto & T. Morita & F. Cerina, 2013. "Integration and Welfare with Horizontal Multinationals," Working Paper CRENoS 201307, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    12. Nolan, Brian & Richiardi, Matteo & Valenzuela, Luis, 2018. "The Drivers of Inequality in Rich Countries," MPRA Paper 89806, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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    1. Selection and Market Reallocation: Productivity Gains from Multinational Production (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2018) in ReplicationWiki

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