Heterogeneity and the Structure of Exports and FDI: A cross-industry analysis of Japanese manufacturing
The fraction of exporters and multinational enterprises (MNEs) varies substantially across industries. We extend the firm heterogeneity model presented by Helpman et al. (2004) to derive testable predictions about the prevalence of these internationalized modes. The model indicates that intra-industry firm heterogeneity and R&D intensity play large roles in inter-industry variation of the fraction of internationalized firms. We investigate whether these factors as well as import tariffs affect the structure of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) using Japanese industry-level data. We obtain results that are consistent with the model. First, industries with larger productivity dispersion have a larger fraction of MNEs and a larger fraction of the sum of exporters and MNEs. Second, MNEs are heavily concentrated in R&D-intensive industries. In addition, we reveal that industries with lower import tariffs have a larger fraction of exporters and MNEs.
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