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Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade

In: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models

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  • Wilfred J. Ethier
  • James R. Markusen

Abstract

Attempts to add multinational firms to the ‘new’ trade theories generate predictions about direct investment dramatically at odds with the facts. A failure to treat internalization adequately seems responsible at least in part. Empirical evidence also indicates a close association between multinational firms and knowledge capital; we exploit this to examine the role of internalization and its relation to locational factors. We model a firm which must choose between costly exporting and the possible dissipation of its knowledge capital by producing abroad. The paper examines the choice between exporting, licensing, and acquiring a subsidiary in this environment. We analyze the cost and technology parameters that support alternative modes of serving the foreign market, and we describe the international equilibrium that jointly determines the pattern of specialization and the market mode. We find that similarities in relative factor endowments may promote direct investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilfred J. Ethier & James R. Markusen, 2021. "Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 7, pages 131-158, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9789811222962_0007
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    3. James R. MARKUSEN, 2021. "Multinationals, Multi-Plant Economies, And The Gains From Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 1, pages 3-24, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinational Firms; Horizontal Multinationals; Vertical Multinationals; Internalization; Vertical Integration; Outsourcing; Foreign Affiliates; Per-Capita Income; Non-homothetic Preferences; Income Elasticity of Demand; Missing Trade Puzzle; Skill Premium Puzzle; Pro-competitive Gains From Trade; Complements; Externalities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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