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Production versus Distribution-oriented FDI

  • Jörn Kleinert


    (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen - Tübingen Universität - Tübingen University)

  • Farid Toubal

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

The business literature has long recognized the importance of multinationals' distribution networks. The empirical analysis of distribution-oriented FDI has, however, received little attention which is at least partly due to the lack of appropriate data. We present a slightly modified version of Helpman, Melitz, and Yeaple (2004) that explicitly models the possibility for a multinational firm to export through its wholesale trade affiliate. We analyze the multinational firms' choice between foreign production and foreign distribution. Our empirical analysis uses different discrete choice models and alternative specifications for several sub-samples of multinational firms. We consider complex foreign sales strategies and correct for the sample selection bias that arises because we only observe firms that have foreign affiliates. Our results show that the decision between distribution and production-oriented FDI is based on the trade-off between fixed and variable costs

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number hal-00608510.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00608510
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  1. Krautheim, Sebastian, 2009. "Export-Supporting FDI," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,20, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. Claudia M. Buch & Jörn Kleinert & Alexander Lipponer & Farid Toubal, 2005. "Determinants and effects of foreign direct investment: evidence from German firm-level data," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 52-110, 01.
  3. Jörn Kleinert & Farid Toubal, 2010. "Gravity for FDI," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, 02.
  4. Antras, Pol & Costinot, Arnaud, 2011. "Intermediated Trade," Scholarly Articles 4784024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Wholesalers and Retailers in US Trade," Working Paper Series WP10-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  8. 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.
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  10. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
  11. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2010. "Wholesalers and Retailers in US Trade (Long Version)," CEPR Discussion Papers 7642, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Dimitra Petropoulou, 2008. "Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0848, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
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  18. Braconier, Henrik & Norback, Pehr-Johan & Urban, Dieter, 2005. "Multinational enterprises and wage costs: vertical FDI revisited," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 446-470, December.
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  21. 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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  23. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  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.
  25. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
  26. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
  27. Bernardo S. Blum & Sebastian Claro & Ignatius Horstmann, 2010. "Facts and Figures on Intermediated Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 419-23, May.
  28. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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