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Foreign Investment, Divestment and Relocation by Japanese Electronics Firms in East Asia

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  • René Belderbos
  • Jianglei Zou

Abstract

Although foreign divestment and international relocation by multinational firms carry important economic implications for the industrialization of East Asian countries, there has been little empirical research on these issues. In this paper we analyze the magnitude and pattern of foreign divestment and relocation by Japanese electronics firms in nine East Asian countries during 1995-2003. The average annual divestment rate of electronics manufacturing affiliates is 3 percent, but divestment patterns diverge strongly across countries. Divestments are much more frequent in higher labor cost countries and in approximately one-third of cases are accompanied by relocations to lower wage countries, particularly to China. Evidence is found for rivalry between China and ASEAN countries in attracting foreign direct investment, but the growing attractiveness of China has not been accompanied by a reduction in employment in Japanese affiliates in ASEAN countries (with the exception of Singapore). Divestments and relocations are related to Japanese firms' strategy to reconfigure their Asian production networks in response to changing competitiveness, regional integration, and changes in local investment environments. Copyright 2006 East Asian Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • René Belderbos & Jianglei Zou, 2006. "Foreign Investment, Divestment and Relocation by Japanese Electronics Firms in East Asia ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 1-27, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:1-27
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jesús F. Lampón & Pablo Cabanelas-Lorenzo & Santiago Lago-Peñas, 2013. "Why firms relocate their production overseas? The answer lies inside: corporate, logistic and technological determinants," Working Papers 2013/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Jesús F. Lampón & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Pablo Cabanelas, 2016. "Can the periphery achieve core? The case of the automobile components industry in Spain," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 595-612, August.
    3. David Edgington & Roger Hayter, 2013. "The In Situ Upgrading of Japanese Electronics Firms in Malaysian Industrial Clusters," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 89(3), pages 227-259, July.
    4. Tomassen, Sverre & Benito, Gabriel R.G., 2009. "The costs of governance in international companies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 292-304, June.
    5. repec:spr:manint:v:49:y:2009:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-008-0133-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jean-Luc Arregle & Toyah L Miller & Michael A Hitt & Paul W Beamish, 2016. "How does regional institutional complexity affect MNE internationalization?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(6), pages 697-722, August.
    7. repec:eee:jbrese:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:95-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Kimura, Fukunari & Obashi, Ayako, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia: What We Know So Far," ADBI Working Papers 320, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    9. Laura Resmini & Giuseppe Vittucci, 2016. "Home country bias in divestment decisions of multinational corporations in the EU," ERSA conference papers ersa16p220, European Regional Science Association.
    10. R¸nno Lumiste, 2006. "Migration of Electronics Production. Optimisation of Technology or Labour Costs?," Working Papers 148, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology.
    11. Pablo Agnese, 2012. "Employment Effects of Offshoring across Sectors and Occupations in Japan," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 289-311, December.
    12. repec:spr:manint:v:48:y:2008:i:1:d:10.1007_s11575-008-0005-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Tony Tong & Jing Li, 2008. "Real options and MNE strategies in Asia Pacific," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 153-169, January.

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