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A Linder Hypothesis for Foreign Direct Investment

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  • Fajgelbaum, Pablo
  • Grossman, Gene
  • Helpman, Elhanan

Abstract

We study patterns of FDI in a multi-country world economy. First, we present evidence for a broad sample of countries that firms direct FDI disproportionately to markets with income levels similar to their home market. Then we develop a model featuring non-homothetic preferences for quality and monopolistic competition in which specialization is purely demand-driven and the decision to serve foreign countries via exports or FDI depends on a proximity-concentration trade-off. We characterize the joint patterns of trade and FDI when countries differ in income distribution and size and show that FDI is more likely to occur between countries with similar per capita income levels. The model predicts a Linder Hypothesis for FDI, consistent with the patterns found in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Fajgelbaum, Pablo & Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2011. "A Linder Hypothesis for Foreign Direct Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8639
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    Cited by:

    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2019. "Brands in Motion: How Frictions Shape Multinational Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3073-3124, September.
    2. Hendrik W. Kruse, 2020. "Revisiting the sectoral Linder hypothesis: Aggregation bias or fixed costs?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 1076-1112, September.
    3. Esteban Jaimovich, 2021. "Quality growth: from process to product innovation along the path of development," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 71(2), pages 761-793, March.
    4. Hendrik W. Kruse, 2016. "Revisiting the Sectoral Linder Hypothesis: Aggregation Bias or Fixed Costs?," LIS Working papers 658, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. Sosa Andrés, Maximiliano & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Busse, Matthias, 2013. "What drives FDI from non-traditional sources? A comparative analysis of the determinants of bilateral FDI flows," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 7, pages 1-53.
    6. Aleksynska, Mariya & Havrylchyk, Olena, 2013. "FDI from the south: The role of institutional distance and natural resources," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 38-53.
    7. Claudia Bernasconi, 2013. "Similarity of income distributions and the extensive and intensive margin of bilateral trade flows," ECON - Working Papers 115, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    8. Cai, Peilin & Kim, Suk-Joong & Wu, Eliza, 2019. "Foreign direct investments from emerging markets: The push-pull effects of sovereign credit ratings," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 110-125.
    9. Ramondo, Natalia & Rappoport, Veronica & Ruhl, Kim J., 2016. "Intrafirm trade and vertical fragmentation in U.S. multinational corporations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 51-59.
    10. P. M. Picard & A. Tampieri, 2021. "Vertical differentiation and trade among symmetric countries," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 71(4), pages 1319-1355, June.
    11. Thomas J. Holmes & Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2015. "Quid Pro Quo: Technology Capital Transfers for Market Access in China," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1154-1193.
    12. Chang, Pao-Li & Chen, Yuting, 2021. "Informal institutions and comparative advantage of South-based MNEs: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
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    14. Eppinger, Peter S. & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2017. "Contracting institutions and firm boundaries," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 100, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    15. Omar S. Dahi & Firat Demir, 2017. "South–South And North–South Economic Exchanges: Does It Matter Who Is Exchanging What And With Whom?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 1449-1486, December.
    16. Aw, Bee Yan & Lee, Yi, 2014. "A model of demand, productivity and foreign location decision among Taiwanese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 304-316.
    17. Sun, Chang, 2020. "Multinational production with non-neutral technologies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    18. Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2020. "A tale of two property rights: Knowledge, physical assets, and multinational firm boundaries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
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    21. Brada, Josef C. & Drabek, Zdenek & Mendez, Jose A. & Perez, M. Fabricio, 2019. "National levels of corruption and foreign direct investment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 31-49.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    FDI; monopolistic competition; multinational corporations; nested logit; product quality; trade; vertical specialization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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