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Multinational firms, monopolistic competition and foreign investment uncertainty

  • Arunish Chawla
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    This is a model of multinational firms, which introduces option value of foreign direct investment, into a framework of Dixit-Stiglitz type monopolistic competition. Starting from a pure trading equilibrium and solving for the optimal investment rule gives a scale-up factor which implies existence of a wedge between markup revenues and foreign investment costs. Greater volatility and risk aversion increase this scale-up over foreign investment costs implying a delay in the exercise of FDI option, while growing market size and national income facilitate early exercise. The model is extended to include a Poisson jump process, which has policy implications for FDI reforms and explains ‘wait and watch’ behaviour of multinational firms better than a pure comparative advantage-trade cost framework does. While investment under uncertainty literature is based on the theory of call options, I solve ‘FDI option’ as a put option, thereby also enriching the theory of real options.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19592/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19592.

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    Length: 39 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19592
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dixit, Avinash K. & Pindyck, Robert S. & Sødal, Sigbjørn., 1997. "A markup interpretation of optimal rules for irreversible investment," Working papers WP 3945-97., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1998, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
    7. Rafael Rob & Nikolaos Vettas, 2003. "Foreign Direct Investment and Exports with Growing Demand," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    8. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
    9. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
    10. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
    11. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474, March.
    12. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    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 488-94, November.
    15. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
    16. Magnus Blomstrom & Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "Multinational Firms and Manufactured Exports from Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
    18. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-44, September.
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