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The few leading the many: foreign affiliates and business cycle comovement

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  • Jorn Kleinert
  • Julien Martin
  • Farid Toubal

Abstract

This paper uses microdata on balance sheets, trade, and the nationality of ownership of firms in France to investigate the effect of foreign multinationals on business cycle comovement. We first show that foreign affiliates, which represent a tiny fraction of all firms, are responsible for a high share of employment, value added, and trade both at the national and at the regional levels. We also show that the distribution of foreign affiliates across regions differs with the nationality of the parent. We then show that foreign affiliates increase the comovement of activities between their region of location and their country of ownership. Moreover, we find greater comovement among French regions that have a more similar composition in terms of the nationality of foreign affiliates. These findings suggest that a non-negligible part of business cycle comovement is driven by a few multinational companies, and that the international transmission of shocks is partly due to linkages between affiliates and their foreign parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorn Kleinert & Julien Martin & Farid Toubal, 2012. "The few leading the many: foreign affiliates and business cycle comovement," Globalization Institute Working Papers 116, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:116
    Note: Published as: Kleinert, Jörn, Julien Martin and Farid Toubal (2015), "The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 7 (4): 134-159.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joachim Wagner & John P. Weche Gelübcke, 2016. "Risk or Resilience? The Role of Trade Integration and Foreign Ownership for the Survival of German Enterprises during the Crisis 2008–2010," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Microeconometrics of International Trade, chapter 11, pages 369-397, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Isabelle Mejean, 2018. "The Micro Origins of International Business-Cycle Comovement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(1), pages 82-108, January.
    3. Nicholas Sly & Caroline Weber, 2013. "International Fiscal Policy Coordination and GDP Comovement," CESifo Working Paper Series 4358, CESifo.
    4. Gumpert, Anna & Li, Haishi & Moxnes, Andreas & Ramondo, Natalia & Tintelnot, Felix, 2020. "The life-cycle dynamics of exporters and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    5. Nicholas Sly & Caroline Weber, 2017. "Bilateral Tax Treaties and GDP Comovement," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 292-319, May.
    6. Natalia Ramondo & Felix Tintelnot & Andreas Moxnes & Anna Gumpert, 2016. "Multinational Firms and Export Dynamics," 2016 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2017. "Multinational Firms and International Business Cycle Transmission," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 921-962.
    8. Esposito, Federico, 2019. "Demand Risk and Diversification through Trade," MPRA Paper 99875, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Mejean, Isabelle, 2020. "Foreign Shocks as Granular Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 15458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Piger, Jeremy & Sly, Nicholas, 2014. "Comovement in GDP trends and cycles among trading partners," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 239-247.
    11. Elisabeth Beusch & Barbara Döbeli & Andreas M. Fischer & Pinar Yeşin, 2017. "Merchanting and Current Account Balances," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 140-167, January.
    12. Mark A. Wynne, 2012. "Five Years of Research on Globalization and Monetary Policy: What Have We Learned?," Annual Report, Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 2-17.
    13. Gabor Bekes & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2015. "Micro-founded measurement of regional competitiveness in Europe," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1525, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    14. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2012:v:4:p:668-692 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hannes Boehm & Julia Schaumburg & Lena Tonzer, 2020. "Financial Linkages and Sectoral Business Cycle Synchronization: Evidence from Europe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-008/III, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Esposito, Federico, 2020. "Demand Risk and Diversification through International Trade," MPRA Paper 100865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Tweedle, Jesse, 2018. "Correlated shocks within firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 95-97.
    18. Nicola Cortinovis & Riccardo Crescenzi & Frank van Oort, 0. "Multinational enterprises, industrial relatedness and employment in European regions," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 1165-1205.
    19. Wen Zhang, 2020. "Can trade openness affect the monetary transmission mechanism?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 341-364, May.
    20. repec:hal:journl:dumas-00910194 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Sebastian Florian Enea & Silvia Palaºcã, 2012. "Globalization Versus Segregation - Business Cycles Synchronization In Europe," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4(4), pages 668-692, December.
    22. Paniagua, Jordi & Figueiredo, Erik & Sapena, Juan, 2015. "Quantile regression for the FDI gravity equation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1512-1518.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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