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Exports and FDI Entry Decision: Evidence from Japanese foreign-affiliated firms

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  • Ivan DESEATNICOV
  • Konstantin KUCHERYAVYY

Abstract

Why do aggregate foreign direct investments (FDI) fall with distance? To answer this question, we examine the behavior of Japanese multinational enterprises (MNEs). We are interested in FDI entry decision given export experience in foreign markets. We postulate that one of the firms' strategies is learning the foreign market potential by exporting first, followed by establishment of foreign affiliates if expected profitability is high enough. We propose a theoretical model and test it empirically using firm-level data from two basic surveys of Japanese companies: the Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities and the Basic Survey on Overseas Business Activities for the period 1995-2013. We control for export experience and productivity of Japanese MNEs, and find that the probability of FDI entry decreases in distance. We conclude that trade costs shape outward FDI activity in addition to learning by exporting and productivity channels. Our tentative explanation suggests that trade costs limit firms' ability to reveal the foreign market demand. As a result, they may exit the foreign market before realizing the potential of profitability.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivan DESEATNICOV & Konstantin KUCHERYAVYY, 2017. "Exports and FDI Entry Decision: Evidence from Japanese foreign-affiliated firms," Discussion papers 17036, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:17036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. CHEN Cheng & SENGA Tatsuro & SUN Chang & ZHANG Hongyong, 2018. "Uncertainty, Imperfect Information, and Learning in the International Market," Discussion papers 18010, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Yuko Imura, 2019. "Reassessing Trade Barriers with Global Value Chains," Staff Working Papers 19-19, Bank of Canada.
    3. Ivan DESEATNICOV & Konstantin KUCHERYAVYY, 2018. "Role of Past Experience and Intra-firm Trade in FDI Decisions," Discussion papers 18051, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. CHEN Cheng & SUN Chang & ZHANG Hongyong, 2019. "Learning from Siblings within Multinational Firms," Discussion papers 19053, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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