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Multinational Firms: Easy Come, Easy Go?

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  • Jan I. Haaland
  • Ian Wooton
  • Giulia Faggio

Abstract

It is often argued that countries with more flexible labor markets are better placed in attracting inward investment from multinational firms (MNEs). This is an issue when there is uncertainty in the marketplace and the firm faces some risk of closure of its branch plant. We study the MNE's location choice, explicitly taking into account exit, as well as entry, costs. We show that worker protection, through lay-off rules, deters potential investment in risky industries. Using evidence on MNE investment in Eastern Europe, we find support for our prediction that labor-market flexibility makes a location more attractive to the MNE.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan I. Haaland & Ian Wooton & Giulia Faggio, 2002. "Multinational Firms: Easy Come, Easy Go?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(1), pages 1-3, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(2002/200302)59:1_3:mfeceg_2.0.tx_2-w
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haaland, Jan I & Wooton, Ian, 1999. " International Competition for Multinational Investment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 631-649, December.
    2. Ram Mudambi, 1999. "Multinational Investment Attraction: Principal-Agent Considerations," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 65-79.
    3. Kind, Hans Jarle & Knarvik, Karen Helene Midelfart & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2000. "Competing for capital in a 'lumpy' world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 253-274, November.
    4. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 1999. "Country size and tax competition for foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 121-139, January.
    5. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Foreign direct investment as a catalyst for industrial development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 335-356, February.
    6. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    7. Schnitzer, Monika, 1999. "Expropriation and control rights: A dynamic model of foreign direct investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1113-1137, November.
    8. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(3), pages 375-403, October.
    2. Dewit, Gerda & Görg, Holger & Montagna, Catia, 2003. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Note on Employment Protection, Domestic Anchorage, and FDI," IZA Discussion Papers 845, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Gross, Dominique M. & Ryan, Michael, 2008. "FDI location and size: Does employment protection legislation matter?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 590-605, November.
    4. Martin Robson & Roxana Radulescu, 2004. "Does stricter employment protection legislation deter FDI?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 81, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    5. Haaland, Jan I. & Wooton, Ian, 2002. "Multinational Investment, Industry Risk and Policy Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Markus Leibrecht & Johann Scharler, 2009. "How important is employment protection legislation for Foreign Direct Investment flows in Central and Eastern European countries?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(2), pages 275-295, April.
    7. Sophie Lecostey, 2012. "Permanent uncertainty, employment protection, and firms'location," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201240, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    8. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
    9. Matthias Busse & Peter Nunnenkamp & Mariana Spatareanu, 2011. "Foreign direct investment and labour rights: a panel analysis of bilateral FDI flows," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 149-152.
    10. Kristian Behrens & Pierre M. Picard, 2007. "Welfare, home market effects, and horizontal foreign direct investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1118-1148, November.
    11. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
    12. Jan I. Haaland & Ian Wooton, 2007. "Domestic Labor Markets and Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 462-480, August.
    13. Gerda Dewit & Holger Görg & Yama Temouri, 2013. "Employment Protection and Relocation with Firm Heterogeneity," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n234-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    14. Giovanni Immordino, 2003. "Fairness, NGO Activism and the Welfare of Less Developed Countries," CSEF Working Papers 101, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Dec 2007.
    15. Gerda Dewit & Holger Görg & Catia Montagna, 2009. "Should I stay or should I go? Foreign direct investment, employment protection and domestic anchorage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(1), pages 93-110, April.
    16. Isabel Faeth, 2005. "Determinants of FDI in Australia : Which Theory Can Explain it Best?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 946, The University of Melbourne.
    17. Kotov, Denis, 2008. "How Changing Investment Climate Impacts on the Foreign Investors Investment Decision: Evidence from FDI in Germany," MPRA Paper 8777, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Dewit, Gerda & Leahy, Dermot & Montagna, Catia, 2012. "Employment Protection, Flexibility and Firms’ Strategic Location Decisions under Uncertainty," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-24, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    19. Markus Leibrecht & Christian Bellak, "undated". "Does the impact of employment protection legislation on FDI differ by skill-intensity of sectors? An empirical investigation," Discussion Papers 09/21, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    20. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy & Catia Montagna, 2013. "Employment Protection, Flexibility and Firms' Strategic Location Decisions under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 441-474, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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