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Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade

In: Handbook of International Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Antrà s, Pol
  • Yeaple, Stephen R.

Abstract

This chapter reviews the state of the international trade literature on multinational firms. This literature addresses three main questions. First, why do some firms operate in more than one country while others do not? Second, what determines in which countries production facilities are located? Finally, why do firms own foreign facilities rather than simply contract with local producers or distributors? We organize our exposition of the trade literature on multinational firms around the workhorse monopolistic competition model with constant-elasticity-of-substitution (CES) preferences. On the theoretical side, we review alternative ways to introduce multinational activity into this unifying framework, illustrating some key mechanisms emphasized in the literature. On the empirical side, we discuss the key studies and provide updated empirical results and further robustness tests using new sources of data.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intchp:4-55
    DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-54314-1.00002-1
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinationals; Foreign direct investment; Vertical FDI; Horizontal FDI; Complex FDI; Internalization; Offshoring; Outsourcing; Related party trade; Cross-border acquisitions; Greenfield FDI;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F61 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Microeconomic Impacts
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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