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Swedish Multinationals and Competition from High- and Low-Wage Locations


  • Braconier, Henrik
  • Ekholm, Karolina


This study uses data on Swedish multinationals to estimate cross elasticities of labour demand in different locations. With a vertical decomposition of the firm's activities, whether there is substitution or complementarity between employment in different parts of the firm will depend on whether wage changes lead to a relocation of activities or simply to changes in marginal costs and/or demand for inputs in other parts of the firms. We find that there is some evidence of a substitutionary relationship between employment in the Swedish parts of the firms and employment in other high-income locations, but we do not find any evidence of substitution stemming from employment in low-income locations. We find mainly a relationship of complementarity between employment in different affiliates.

Suggested Citation

  • Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 1999. "Swedish Multinationals and Competition from High- and Low-Wage Locations," CEPR Discussion Papers 2323, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2323

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Papers 95-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    2. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
    3. Blomstrom, Magnus & Fors, Gunnar & Lipsey, Robert E, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: Home Country Experience in the United States and Sweden," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1787-1797, November.
    4. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1984. "Foreign Production and Exports of Individual Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 304-308, May.
    5. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-245, May.
    6. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1994. "Trade, Multinationals, & Labor," NBER Working Papers 4836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J. & Eby Konan, Denise & Zhang, Kevin H., 1996. "A Unified Treatment of Horizontal Direct Investment, Vertical Direct Investment, and the Pattern of Trade in Goods and Services," Working Paper Series 465, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1995. "Multinational Corporations, Outsourcing, and American Wage Divergence," NBER Working Papers 5253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert E. Lipsey, 1995. "Outward Direct Investment and the U.S. Economy," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "The Effect of Multinational Firms' Operations on Their Domestic Employment," NBER Working Papers 2760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:hhs:iuiwop:490 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Roger Svensson, 1996. "Effects of overseas production on home country exports: Evidence based on Swedish multinationals," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 132(2), pages 304-329, September.
    13. David A. Riker & S. Lael Brainard, 1997. "U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries," NBER Working Papers 5959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1981. "Foreign Production and Exports in Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 488-494, November.
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    More about this item


    Labour Demand; Multinational Firms; Vertically Integrated Firms;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand


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