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Distance costs and Multinationals' foreign activities

Author

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  • Kleinert, Jörn
  • Toubal, Farid

Abstract

We derive a gravity equation from two general equilibrium models with multinational firms: a symmetric firm model where foreign affiliates rely on specific intermediate goods and a heterogenous firms model with country-specific fixed costs. Although the reduced form gravity equation is the same, the structural models behind it differ. In the heterogenous firm model less (but larger) firms enter more distant markets which yields lower aggregate sales. In the symmetric firm intermediate input model, in contrast, lower aggregate sales result from lower sales per foreign affiliate. We use the gravity equation to discriminate between the two models. Thereby, we find more support for the heterogenous firm model.

Suggested Citation

  • Kleinert, Jörn & Toubal, Farid, 2006. "Distance costs and Multinationals' foreign activities," CEI Working Paper Series 2006-6, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2006-6
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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/13510/1/wp2006-6a.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
    2. Jörn Kleinert & Farid Toubal, 2010. "Gravity for FDI," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, February.
    3. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
    4. 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, January.
    5. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
    6. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Anthony J. Venables, 2006. "Multinational Firms in the World Economy," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 7832.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Neary & Monika Mrazova, 2011. "Selection Effects with Heterogeneous Firms," Economics Series Working Papers 588, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Neary, J. Peter, 2009. "Trade costs and foreign direct investment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 207-218, March.
    3. Alfonso Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Luca David Opromolla, 2013. "The Margins of Multinational Production and the Role of Intrafirm Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(1), pages 74-126.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gravity equation; multinational firms; distance costs;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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