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Dissipation of Knowledge and the Boundaries of the Multinational Enterprise

  • Valeria Gattai

    ()

  • Corrado Molteni

This paper provides a theoretical formalisation of the joint-venture contract, as an alternative to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), within a Dissipation of Intangible Assets framework. In a two-period model, we discuss how the threat of knowledge spillover shapes the boundaries of a Multinational Enterprise. Similarly to the theoretical findings on the FDI-licensing trade off, we show that the integrated solution is more likely to emerge when know-how easily spills over – i.e. when firms are endowed with more Intangible Assets or they belong to high tech industries. Probit estimates, from a new firm-level dataset, show that Japanese manufacturing operations in Europe are in line with these predictions.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10290-007-0096-x
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 143 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:143:y:2007:i:1:p:1-26
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  1. M Krishna Erramilli, 1996. "Nationality and Subsidiary Ownership Patterns in Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 225-248, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1987, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Power inside the firm and the market: A general equilibrium approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19255, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1996. "Exploring New Markets: Direct Investment, Contractual Relations and the Multinational Enterprise," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 1-19, February.
  6. Peter J Buckley & Mark Casson, 1996. "An Economic Model of International Joint Venture Strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 849-876, December.
  7. Blomstrom, Magnus, 1986. "Foreign Investment and Productive Efficiency: The Case of Mexico," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 97-110, September.
  8. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Joint Ventures and the Boundaries of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 9115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
  12. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Alessandro Turrini, 2002. "Distance and FDI when Contracts are Incomplete," Development Working Papers 165, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  13. Saggi, Kamal, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment, Licensing, and Incentives for Innovation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 699-714, November.
  14. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "Multinationals, Linkages, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 852-73, September.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Ownership and Control in Outsourcing to China: Estimating the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 10198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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 101-18, May.
  17. Mattoo, Aaditya & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Mode of foreign entry, technology transfer, and foreign direct investment policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2737, The World Bank.
  18. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  19. Peter J Buckley & Mark Casson, 1996. "An Economic Model of International Joint Venture Strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(5), pages 849-876, December.
  20. Mansfield, Edwin & Romeo, Anthony, 1980. "Technology Transfer to Overseas Subsidiaries by U.S.-Based Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 737-50, December.
  21. 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.
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