IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Location of Japanese MNC Affiliates: Agglomeration, Spillovers and Firm Heterogeneity

  • Tomohiko Inui
  • Toshiyuki Matsuura
  • Sandra Poncet

We examine the location choices of the foreign affiliates of Japanese manufacturing firms, using a new data set that matches parents to the affiliates they created over the 1995-2003 period. The analysis is based on new economic geography theory, and thus focuses on the effect of market and supplier access, as well as production and trade costs. Our aim is twofold. First, we investigate the importance of agglomeration and spillover effects on firms’ decisions via variables showing the presence of Japanese affiliates in the host countries, and Japanese multinational firms at home. Our results confirm the economic importance of information-sharing and network effects, both at home and in the host country, in addition to traditional factors relating to production and transaction costs, and market and supply access. Second, we explore whether the effects of the key determinants of location choice vary according to the characteristics of the investing firm and the affiliate. We find that less productive and smaller parents are more likely to create an affiliate in China rather than in Western Europe or an OECD country. Moreover lessproductive firms seem more sensitive to distance-related costs and low institutional quality, but are more responsive to the presence of Japanese firms and the presence of a Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) agency in the host country.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2008-24.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2008-24
Contact details of provider: Postal:
113, rue de Grenelle, 75700 Paris SP07

Phone: 33 01 53 68 55 00
Fax: 33 01 53 68 55 01
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "Regional Wage and Employment Responses to Market Potential in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 4908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 341-59, May.
  3. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Ellis, Christopher J. & Fausten, Dietrich, 2005. "Industrial groupings and foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 75-91, January.
  4. Richard Baldwin & Rikard Forslid & Philippe Martin & Gianmarco Ottaviano & Frederic Robert Nicoud, 2003. "Economic Geography and Public Policy," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00179815, HAL.
  5. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  6. Fukunari Kimura & Kozo Kiyota, 2006. "Exports, FDI, and Productivity: Dynamic Evidence from Japanese Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(4), pages 695-719, December.
  7. Mayer, T. & Mejean, I. & Nefussi, B., 2010. "The location of domestic and foreign production affiliates by French multinational firms," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 115-128, September.
  8. Kozo Kiyota & Shujiro Urata, 2005. "The Role of Multinational Firms in International Trade: The Case of Japan," Discussion papers 05012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. Cieslik, Andrzej & Ryan, Michael, 2004. "Explaining Japanese direct investment flows into an enlarged Europe: A comparison of gravity and economic potential approaches," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 12-37, March.
  10. Kozo Kiyota & Toshiyuki Matsuura & Shujiro Urata & Yuhong Wei, 2007. "Reconsidering the Backward Vertical Linkages of Foreign Affiliates: Evidence from Japanese Multinationals," Working Papers 563, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  11. Alexander HIJZEN & INUI Tomohiko & TODO Yasuyuki, 2007. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Domestic Performance: Evidence from Japanese Firms," Discussion papers 07006, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  12. Alexander Hijzen & Tomohiko Inui & Yasuyuki Todo, 2010. "Does Offshoring Pay? Firm-Level Evidence From Japan," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 880-895, October.
  13. Koenig, Pamina, 2009. "Agglomeration and the export decisions of French firms," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 186-195, November.
  14. Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2010. "BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version," Working Papers 2010-23, CEPII research center.
  15. Keith Head & John Ries & Deborah Swenson, 1994. "Agglomeration Benefits and Location Choice: Evidence from Japanese Manufacturing Investment in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Breandan O Huallachain & Neil Reid, 1997. "Acquisition versus Greenfield Investment: The Location and Growth of Japanese Manufacturers in the United States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 403-416.
  17. Keith Head & John Ries, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus Export Decision of Japanese Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 10052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Crozet, M. & Mayer, T. & Micchielli, J.L., 2000. "How Do Firms Agglomerate? A Study of FDI in France?," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 2000.50, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  19. Aitken, B. & Hanson, G.H. & Harrison, A.E., 1994. "Spillovers, Foreign Investment and Export Behavior," Papers 95-06, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  20. Belderbos,R. & Carree,M., 2000. "The Location of Japanese Investments in China: Agglomeration Effects, Keiretsu, and Firm Heterogeneity," Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Netherlands Institute of Business Organization and Strategy Research (NIBOR).
  21. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2003. "South-East Asian export performance: external market access and internal supply capacity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 404-431, December.
  22. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00179815 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  24. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Paprzycki,Ralph & Fukao,Kyoji, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment in Japan," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521873680, September.
  26. Guimaraes, Paulo & Figueiredo, Octavio & Woodward, Douglas, 2000. "Agglomeration and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 115-135, January.
  27. Greenaway, David & Sousa, Nuno & Wakelin, Katharine, 2004. "Do domestic firms learn to export from multinationals?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1027-1043, November.
  28. Head, C. Keith & Ries, John C. & Swenson, Deborah L., 1999. "Attracting foreign manufacturing: Investment promotion and agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 197-218, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2008-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.