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Horizontal versus Vertical Interdependence in Multinational Activity

  • Harald Badinger
  • Peter Egger

Recent research in international economics highlights the role of interdependencies of investment decisions and sales of multinational firms. Previous work focused on and provided evidence for aggregate flows or stocks of foreign direct investment, showing that interdependence declines in geographical distance among host countries. This could be interpreted as implicit evidence for export-platform foreign direct investment—an activity which creates a complementary relationship between (potential) host markets through final goods exports of foreign subsidiaries to third countries. This paper sheds light on interdependencies that are brought about by (horizontal) trade in final goods and (vertical) trade in intermediate goods (within and between host countries). For this, we use a panel data set of U.S. foreign affiliate sales to 16 developed countries in 7 industries over the period 1983-2000. As one of the first studies on that matter, we explicitly distinguish between horizontal and vertical interdependence in MNE activity and allow for both market size (demand) related as well as remainder linkage effects. The latter are captured by a second order spatial regressive error process. Overall, there is evidence for mainly vertical as opposed to horizontal interdependence and, hence, mainly vertical motives of multinational activity.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2327.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2327
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  1. Jim Markusen & Caroline Ekholm, Rikard Forslid, 2005. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp050, IIIS.
  2. Kapoor, Mudit & Kelejian, Harry H. & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2007. "Panel data models with spatially correlated error components," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 97-130, September.
  3. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2007. "Estimating models of complex FDI: Are there third-country effects?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 260-281, September.
  4. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  5. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Optimal integration strategies for the multinational firm," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 216-238, September.
  6. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Harald Badinger & Peter Egger, 2008. "GM Estimation of Higher Order Spatial Autoregressive Processes in Panel Data Error Component Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 2301, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Liza Jabbour, . "“Slicing the Value Chain” Internationally: Empirical Evidence on the Offshoring Strategy by French Firms," Discussion Papers 08/02, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  9. Lung-Fei Lee, 2004. "Asymptotic Distributions of Quasi-Maximum Likelihood Estimators for Spatial Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1899-1925, November.
  10. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  11. Cletus C. Coughlin & Eran Segev, 2000. "Foreign Direct Investment in China: A Spatial Econometric Study," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 1-23, 01.
  12. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
  13. Helpman, Elhanan, 1985. "Multinational Corporations and Trade Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 443-57, July.
  14. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
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