International Rent Sharing and Domestic Labour Markets: A Macroeconomic Analysis
Foreign-owned firms account for a significant part of output in many industrialized countries. However, compared to international trade linkages, relatively little is known about the role of foreign direct investment linkages and multinational firm behavior in the transmission of disturbances from one country to the next. Inspired by the micro- evidence on profit sharing within multinational corporations and within industries, we investigate whether a cross-border rent sharing phenomenom can be identified at the macro-level. The rent sharing hypothesis implies that an increase in foreign profitability should boost wages and/or employment in the domestic economy. Our empirical study provides evidence that international rent sharing might be an important aspect of global economic linkages. In four continental European countries and the UK, labour market conditions (wages and/or employment) are significantly affected by profitability conditions abroad. By contrast, the US labour market does not appear to be sensitive to changes in profitability in other countries, which could be explained by the still relatively modest role of foreign-owned capital in the US economy.
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Volume (Year): 142 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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