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Vertical FDI Reviseted

  • Henrik Braconier

    (National Institute of Economic Research, Stockholm)

  • Pehr-Johan Norback

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm)

  • Dieter Urban


This study explores how relative skilled-wage premia affect FDI. Contrary to previous studies based on factor endowment differences, we find strong support for vertical FDI, in the sense that more FDI is conducted in countries where unskilled labor is relatively cheap. In addition, we find that relative skill-premia also affect FDI activities that have previously been associated with horizontal FDI, i.e. local affiliate sales. Consequently, the potential effects of changes in the relative wage costs on international production reallocation within MNEs are large. In fact, if not for the 8% rise in the US skilled wage premium relative to the average host country between 1986-1994, annual US affiliate sales abroad in relation to US GDP would have been half a percentage point higher.

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Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 167.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:167
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  1. J. Peter Neary, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Single Market," Development Working Papers 160, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 1999. "Swedish Multinationals and Competition from High- and Low-Wage Locations," Working Paper Series 523, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
  4. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment in Central and Eastern Europe: Employment Effects in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 3052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Domenech, 2001. "Schooling Data, Technological Diffusion, and the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 323-327, May.
  6. Markusen, James R & Maskus, Keith E, 2002. "Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 694-707, November.
  7. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
  8. Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Fragmentation and multinational production," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 935-945, April.
  9. Magnus Blomstrom & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blom01-1, July.
  10. 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.
  11. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bruce A. Blonigen, 1999. "In Search of Substitution Between Foreign Production and Exports," NBER Working Papers 7154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  15. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan, 1999. "Multinational Firms, Technology and Location," Working Paper Series 512, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 02 Nov 2000.
  16. Matouschek, Niko, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment and Spillovers through Backward Linkages," CEPR Discussion Papers 2283, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "An Empirical Assessment of the Factor Proportions Explanation of Multi-National Sales," NBER Working Papers 4583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  19. Stirböck, Claudia, 2001. "Agglomeration tendencies in EU regions: where does capital go?," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-28, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. Holger Görg, 2000. "Fragmentation and trade: US inward processing trade in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 403-422, 09.
  21. 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.
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