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Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade


  • James R. Markusen

    () (University of Colorado)


Despite the great importance of multinational firms in international economics, theoretical and empirical research on these firms has generally been conducted separately from that on international trade. In this book, James Markusen provides a comprehensive integration of the two fields. Drawing on twenty years of research, he focuses on the interaction of scale economies, trade costs, factor endowments, and imperfect competition. He analyzes decisions about whether to build or acquire a foreign plant separately from decisions about where to raise the financing. Markusen begins with the simplest possible partial equilibrium models and works systematically toward a full-fledged general equilibrium model with both horizontal and vertical foreign direct investment. He offers empirical tests of hypotheses derived from the theoretical models. The notation is unified throughout, distinctions between models are explained with thoroughly explained derivations, and numerous graphs support the analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262633078

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Van Wijnbergen, Sweden, 1986. "On fiscal deficits, the real exchange rate and the world rate of interest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1013-1023, October.
    2. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
    3. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    4. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    6. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    7. Uzawa, H, 1969. "Time Preference and the Penrose Effect in a Two-Class Model of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 628-652, Part II, .
    8. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1987. "Tariffs, Employment and the Current Account: Real Wage Resistance and the Macroeconomics of Protectionism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 691-706, October.
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    More about this item


    multinational firms; international trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models


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