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The Role of Multinational Firms in International Trade: The Case of Japan

  • Kozo Kiyota
  • Shujiro Urata

This paper examines the role of multinational firms in international trade, using firm-level panel data for Japanese firms between 1994 and 2000. Our results indicate that multinational firms dominate Japanese trade. In 2000, only 13.8 percent of Japanese firms were multinationals but they accounted for 95.1 and 85.4 percent of Japanese exports and imports, respectively. Multinational firms are found to have emerged from being exporters/importers. These results imply that firms do not make the choice of either exports or FDI, unlike the findings of previous studies. Rather, exporters make a decision on whether or not to undertake FDI.

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File URL: http://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/05e012.pdf
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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 05012.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:05012
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kozo Kiyota & Shujiro Urata, 2005. "The Role of Multinational Firms in International Trade: The Case of Japan," Discussion papers 05012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  6. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2001. "Overseas Investment and Firm Exports," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 108-22, February.
  7. Nishimura, Kiyohiko G. & Nakajima, Takanobu & Kiyota, Kozo, 2005. "Does the natural selection mechanism still work in severe recessions?: Examination of the Japanese economy in the 1990s," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 53-78, September.
  8. Keith Head & John Ries, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus Export Decision of Japanese Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 10052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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 304-08, May.
  10. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  11. Robert E. Lipsey & Eric D. Ramstetter & Magnus Blomstrom, 2000. "Outward FDI and Parent Exports and Employment: Japan, the United States, and Sweden," NBER Working Papers 7623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  13. Cowling, Keith & Tomlinson, Philip R, 2000. "The Japanese Crisis--A Case of Strategic Failure?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages F358-81, June.
  14. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
  15. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  16. Keith Head & John Ries, 2004. "Exporting and FDI as Alternative Strategies," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 409-423, Autumn.
  17. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 513-552 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  19. 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.
  20. Fukunari Kimura & Kozo Kiyota, 2006. "Exports, FDI, and Productivity: Dynamic Evidence from Japanese Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 695-719, December.
  21. Yamawaki, Hideki, 1991. "Exports and Foreign Distributional Activities: Evidence on Japanese Firms in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 294-300, May.
  22. Bruce A. Blonigen, 1999. "In Search of Substitution Between Foreign Production and Exports," NBER Working Papers 7154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Clausing, Kimberly A, 2000. "Does Multinational Activity Displace Trade?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(2), pages 190-205, April.
  24. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
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