IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v122y2020ics0022199619300832.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A tale of two property rights: Knowledge, physical assets, and multinational firm boundaries

Author

Listed:
  • Kukharskyy, Bohdan

Abstract

The theory of multinational firm boundaries has been shaped by two major paradigms: an earlier one, emphasizing the role of integration in preventing the dissipation of knowledge, and a more recent one, stressing the role of firm boundaries in mitigating underinvestments into relationship-specific assets in the face of contractual incompleteness. This paper develops a novel model encompassing both approaches in a unifying framework. The model predicts that the attractiveness of integration increases in the importance of the parent firm's knowledge capital and decreases in the importance of the affiliate's physical capital in a joint production process. Furthermore, stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in the affiliate's country is predicted to mitigate the effect of knowledge intensity on the attractiveness of integration. I test these hypotheses using unique panel data on more than 100,000 firm pairs worldwide. In line with the model's predictions, knowledge-intensive parent firms choose higher ownership shares in their affiliates, yet this relationship is less pronounced the stronger the IPR protection in the affiliate's country. In addition, higher physical capital intensity of the affiliate is associated with lower ownership shares. These findings are robust to controlling for unobserved heterogeneity across countries, industries, and firms, providing strong support for the unifying theory of multinational firm boundaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2020. "A tale of two property rights: Knowledge, physical assets, and multinational firm boundaries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:122:y:2020:i:c:s0022199619300832
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2019.103262
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022199619300832
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jinteco.2019.103262?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
    2. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
    3. Laura Alfaro & Pol Antràs & Davin Chor & Paola Conconi, 2019. "Internalizing Global Value Chains: A Firm-Level Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 508-559.
    4. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intrafirm Trade and Product Contractibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 444-448, May.
    6. Smolka, Marcel & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2015. "Global Sourcing of Heterogeneous Firms: Theory and Evidence," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113012, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Crozet, Matthieu & Trionfetti, Federico, 2013. "Firm-level comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 321-328.
    8. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Outsourcing Versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 317-327, 04/05.
    9. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, And The Pattern Of Comparative Advantage," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 225-254, April.
    10. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600.
    11. Wilfred J. Ethier & James R. Markusen, 2021. "Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 7, pages 131-158, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Vertical Integration and Technology: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 989-1033, September.
    13. Wolfgang Keller & Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2013. "The Gravity of Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1414-1444, June.
    14. Enghin Atalay & Ali Horta?su & Chad Syverson, 2014. "Vertical Integration and Input Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1120-1148, April.
    15. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
    16. 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.
    17. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2015. "A Linder Hypothesis for Foreign Direct Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 83-121.
    18. Ramondo, Natalia & Rappoport, Veronica & Ruhl, Kim J., 2016. "Intrafirm trade and vertical fragmentation in U.S. multinational corporations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 51-59.
    19. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2010. "Estimating cross-industry cross-country models using benchmark industry characteristics," Economics Working Papers 1235, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2016.
    20. Rugman, Alan M, 1986. "New Theories of the Multinational Enterprise: An Assessment of Internalization Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 101-118, May.
    21. Keith E. Maskus, 2012. "Private Rights and Public Problems: The Global Economics of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 5072, October.
    22. Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
    23. Saggi, Kamal, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment, Licensing, and Incentives for Innovation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 699-714, November.
    24. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 825-838, July.
    25. James R. Markusen, 2021. "Contracts, intellectual property rights, and multinational investment in developing countries," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 8, pages 159-174, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    26. Nunn, Nathan & Trefler, Daniel, 2014. "Domestic Institutions as a Source of Comparative Advantage," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 263-315, Elsevier.
    27. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "Estimating Cross-Industry Cross-Country Interaction Models Using Benchmark Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 22368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. James R. Markusen & Yiqing Xie, 2014. "Outsourcing versus vertical integration: Ethier–Markusen meets the property-rights approach," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 75-90, March.
    29. Luis Garicano & Luis Rayo, 2017. "Relational Knowledge Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2695-2730, September.
    30. Saggi, Kamal, 1996. "Entry into a Foreign Market: Foreign Direct Investment versus Licensing," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 99-104, February.
    31. repec:hrv:faseco:33077829 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Peter Nunnenkamp & Julius Spatz, 2004. "Intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment: A disaggregated analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(3), pages 393-414, September.
    33. Nathan Goldschlag & Travis J. Lybbert & Nikolas J. Zolas, 2016. "An ‘Algorithmic Links with Probabilities’ Crosswalk for USPC and CPC Patent Classifications with an Application Towards Industrial Technology Composition," Working Papers 16-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    34. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Ronde, Thomas, 2001. "Foreign direct investment and spillovers through workers' mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 205-222, February.
    35. Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2004. "The composition of foreign direct investment and protection of intellectual property rights: Evidence from transition economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 39-62, February.
    36. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    37. Fosfuri, Andrea, 2000. "Patent protection, imitation and the mode of technology transfer," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 1129-1149, October.
    38. Nunn, Nathan & Trefler, Daniel, 2013. "Incomplete contracts and the boundaries of the multinational firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 330-344.
    39. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    40. Pol Antràs & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2009. "Organizations and Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 43-64, May.
    41. Park, Walter G., 2008. "International patent protection: 1960-2005," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 761-766, May.
    42. Bolatto, Stefano & Naghavi, Alireza & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Zajc Kejzar, Katja, 2019. "Intellectual Property and the Organization of the Global Value Chain," CEPR Discussion Papers 14256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    43. Keith E. Maskus, 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 99, October.
    44. Lybbert, Travis J. & Zolas, Nikolas J., 2014. "Getting patents and economic data to speak to each other: An ‘Algorithmic Links with Probabilities’ approach for joint analyses of patenting and economic activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 530-542.
    45. Altomonte, Carlo & Rungi, Armando, 2013. "Business Groups as Hierarchies of Firms: Determinants of Vertical Integration and Performance," Economy and Society 148920, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    46. Kohler, Wilhelm & Smolka, Marcel, 2014. "Global sourcing and firm selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 411-415.
    47. Yongmin Chen & Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 2012. "Physical capital, knowledge capital, and the choice between FDI and outsourcing," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(1), pages 1-15, February.
    48. Lee G. Branstetter & Raymond Fisman & C. Fritz Foley, 2006. "Do Stronger Intellectual Property Rights Increase International Technology Transfer? Empirical Evidence from U. S. Firm-Level Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 321-349.
    49. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
    50. John McLaren, 2000. ""Globalization" and Vertical Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1239-1254, December.
    51. Branstetter, Lee & Fisman, Ray & Foley, C. Fritz & Saggi, Kamal, 2011. "Does intellectual property rights reform spur industrial development?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 27-36, January.
    52. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton, 2009. "Intra-industry Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2096-2119, December.
    53. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    54. Ginarte, Juan C. & Park, Walter G., 1997. "Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 283-301, October.
    55. Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2016. "Relational contracts and global sourcing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 123-147.
    56. Antrà s, Pol & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2014. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 55-130, Elsevier.
    57. Lee, Jeong-Yeon & Mansfield, Edwin, 1996. "Intellectual Property Protection and U.S. Foreign Direct Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 181-186, May.
    58. Lee Branstetter & Raymond Fisman & C. Fritz Foley & Kamal Saggi, 2007. "Intellectual Property Rights, Imitation, and Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    59. Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    60. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2003. "The Role of Skill Endowments in the Structure of U.S. Outward Foreign Direct Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 726-734, August.
    61. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. "Intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 387-410, March.
    62. Del Prete, Davide & Rungi, Armando, 2017. "Organizing the global value chain: A firm-level test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 16-30.
    63. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
    64. Eppinger, Peter S. & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2017. "Contracting institutions and firm boundaries," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 100, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Biancini, Sara & Bombarda, Pamela, 2021. "Intellectual property rights, multinational firms and technology transfers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 191-210.
    2. Thomas Sampson, 2022. "Technology transfer in global value chains," CEP Discussion Papers dp1826, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Karabay, Bilgehan, 2022. "A new dimension in global value chains: Control vs. delegation in input procurement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    4. Canals, Claudia & Klein, Michael A & Sener, Fuat, 2021. "Intellectual Property-Related Preferential Trade Agreements and Offshoring to Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 107694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Thomas Sampson, 2022. "Technology Transfer in Global Value Chains," CESifo Working Paper Series 9532, CESifo.
    6. Eppinger, Peter & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2021. "Contracting institutions and firm integration around the world," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Eppinger, Peter S. & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2017. "Contracting institutions and firm boundaries," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 100, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    2. Eppinger, Peter & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2021. "Contracting institutions and firm integration around the world," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    3. Antrà s, Pol & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2014. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 55-130, Elsevier.
    4. Alireza Naghavi & Julia Spies & Farid Toubal, 2015. "Intellectual property rights, product complexity and the organization of multinational firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 881-902, August.
    5. Del Prete, Davide & Rungi, Armando, 2017. "Organizing the global value chain: A firm-level test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 16-30.
    6. Biancini, Sara & Bombarda, Pamela, 2021. "Intellectual property rights, multinational firms and technology transfers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 191-210.
    7. Liu, Mengxiao, 2021. "The missing option in firm boundary decisions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    8. Bas, Maria & Carluccio, Juan, 2009. "Wage bargaining and the boundaries of the multinational firm," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28700, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Karabay, Bilgehan, 2022. "A new dimension in global value chains: Control vs. delegation in input procurement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    10. Carluccio, Juan & Bas, Maria, 2015. "The impact of worker bargaining power on the organization of global firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 162-181.
    11. Pol Antràs, 2014. "Grossman–Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(suppl_1), pages 118-175.
    12. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 825-838, July.
    13. Sotiris Blanas & Adnan Seric, 2018. "Determinants of intra‐firm trade: Evidence from foreign affiliates in Sub‐Saharan Africa," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 917-956, September.
    14. Berlingieri, Giuseppe & Pisch, Frank & Steinwender, Claudia, 2018. "Organizing global supply chains: input costs shares and vertical integration," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91706, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Frank Pisch & Claudia Steinwender, 2021. "Organizing Global Supply Chains: Input-Output Linkages and Vertical Integration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1816-1852.
    16. Sotiris Blanas & Adnan Seric, 2017. "Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Working Papers 178118175, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    17. Davide Del Prete & Armando Rungi, 2020. "Backward and Forward Integration Along Global Value Chains," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 57(2), pages 263-283, September.
    18. Lorenzo Casaburi & Valeria Gattai, 2009. "Why FDI? An Empirical Assessment Based on Contractual Incompleteness and Dissipation of Intangible Assets," Working Papers 164, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
    19. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2021. "Global Value Chains," NBER Working Papers 28549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Herkenhoff, Philipp & Krautheim, Sebastian, 2022. "The international organization of production in the regulatory void," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinational firm boundaries; Knowledge dissipation; Hold-up; Intangible assets; IPR protection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:122:y:2020:i:c:s0022199619300832. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.