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Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise

  • Markusen, James R
  • Maskus, Keith E

Recent theoretical developments have incorporated endogenous multinational firms into the general-equilibrium model of trade. One simple taxonomy separates the theory into "vertical" models, in which firms geographically separate activities by stages of production, and "horizontal" models, in which multiplant firms duplicate roughly the same activities in many countries. The authors nest a horizontal and a vertical model within a hybrid (unrestricted) "knowledge-capital model" and estimate the specifications with data on US foreign direct investment activity. In the nested econometric tests, the data sample cannot distinguish statistically between the unrestricted model and the restricted horizontal model, indicating that the latter captures virtually all of the determinants of FDI. The tests overwhelmingly reject the vertical model. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 694-707

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:10:y:2002:i:4:p:694-707
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  1. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ekholm, Karolina, 1998. "Headquarter Services and Revealed Factor Abundance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 545-53, November.
  3. 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".
  4. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Karolina Ekholm,, . "Factor Endowments and the Pattern of Affiliate Production by Multinational Enterprises," Discussion Papers 97/19, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  8. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  9. 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.
  10. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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