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The Strategic Role of Information Asymmetry on Demand for the Multinational Enterprise


    (Universidad de Valencia, Spain)

  • Vicente, ORTS

    (Universitat Jaume I, Castellon - Spain)


    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

We study how asymmetric information impinge on oligopolistic firms’ decision between direct investment and exports in a game-theoretic model with Bayesian learning. Host firms have superior information about market demand and foreign firms can improve their knowledge if foreign direct investment (FDI) is undertaken. In addition to the well-known tension between the fixed set-up costs of investment, the additional variable costs of exports and oligopoly sizes, the incentive to invest abroad is explained by the strategic learning effect. FDI may be observed even if foreign firms are pessimistic or trade costs are zero. Interestingly, compared with the certainty equivalent, the equilibrium number of investors is larger when foreign firms hold optimistic beliefs or, if these are pessimistic, when the strategic learning effect outweighs the conjecture effect.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2003002.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2003002
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  1. Rafael Rob & Nikolaos Vettas, 2003. "Foreign Direct Investment and Exports with Growing Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 629-648.
  2. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo, 1999. " Multinationals without Advantages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 617-30, December.
  3. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 1996. "Multinational Corporations and Spillovers," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 99, Stockholm School of Economics.
  4. Hoff, Karla, 1997. "Bayesian learning in an infant industry model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 409-436, November.
  5. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  6. Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 1979. "The Strategic Role of Information on the Demand Function in an Oligopolistic Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(3), pages 243-250, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Motta, Massimo, 1994. "International trade and investments in a vertically differentiated industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 179-196, June.
  9. Wilfred J. Ethier & James R. Markusen, 1991. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," NBER Working Papers 3825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1996. "Exploring New Markets: Direct Investment, Contractual Relations and the Multinational Enterprise," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 1-19, February.
  11. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1987. "Strategic Investments and the Development of Multinationals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 109-21, February.
  12. Motta, Massimo, 1992. "Multinational firms and the tariff-jumping argument : A game theoretic analysis with some unconventional conclusions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1557-1571, December.
  13. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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