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Export Versus FDI in Services

  • Rudrani Bhattacharya
  • Ila Patnaik
  • Ajay Shah

In the literature on exports and investment, most productive firms are seen to invest abroad. In the Helpman et al. (2004) model, costs of transportation play a critical role in the decision about whether to serve foreign customers by exporting, or by producing abroad. We consider the case of tradable services, where the marginal cost of transport is near zero. We argue that in the purchase of services, buyers face uncertainty about product quality, especially when production is located far away. Firm optimisation then leads less productive firms to self-select themselves for FDI. We test this prediction with data from the Indian software industry and find support for it.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2011.01385.x
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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 35 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 61-78

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:35:y:2012:i:1:p:61-78
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  1. Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella, 2005. "The Globalization of the Software Industry: Perspectives and Opportunities for Developed and Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dilek Demirbas & Ila Patnaik & Ajay Shah, 2010. "Graduating to Globalisation : A Study of Southern Multinationals," Finance Working Papers 21854, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
  4. Eiichi Tomiura, 2005. "Foreign Outsourcing, Exporting, and FDI: A Productivity Comparison at the Firm Level," Discussion Paper Series 168, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  5. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  6. Fukunari Kimura & Kozo Kiyota, 2006. "Exports, FDI, and Productivity: Dynamic Evidence from Japanese Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 695-719, December.
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