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The Vertical Multinational Enterprise and International Trade

  • Konan, Denise Eby

This paper analyzes an endogenous vertical multinational enterprise by explicitly modeling a distortion in the intermediate goods sector. Firms invest abroad to lower the cost of multistage production. The implications for international trade and investment differ markedly from the conventional wisdom of multinationals. Particularly, intrafirm trade in intermediates implies vertical investment complements rather than substitutes for trade. The decision to become a multinational depends on the level on foreign factor prices, the nature of the competition with foreign suppliers, transport, tariffs, and subsidiary plant costs. Marginal change in tariff may result in unintended welfare jumps as firm configuration shifts. Copyright 2000 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

Volume (Year): 8 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 113-25

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:8:y:2000:i:1:p:113-25
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  1. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Ethier, Wilfred J. & Horn, Henrik, 1990. "Managerial control of international firms and patterns of direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 25-45, February.
  4. Barbara J. Spencer & Ronald W. Jones, 1989. "Trade and Protection in Vertically Related Markets," NBER Working Papers 3023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Konan, Denise Eby, 1996. "Transfer Pricing and Strategic Taxation of Globally Joint Inputs," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 202-10, June.
  6. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
  7. Konan, Denise Eby, 1997. "Strategic taxation of the multinational enterprise: A new argument for double taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 301-309, January.
  8. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1989. "Firm-Specific Assets and the Gains from Direct Foreign Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 41-48, February.
  9. Helpman, Elhanan, 1985. "Multinational Corporations and Trade Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 443-57, July.
  10. 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.
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