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Regional Trade Integration and Multinational Firm Strategies

  • Foley, C. Fritz
  • Antras, Pol

This paper analyzes the effects of the formation of a regional trade agreement on the level and nature of multinational firm activity. We examine aggregate data that captures the response of U.S. multinational firms to the formation of the ASEAN free trade agreement. Observed patterns guide the development of a model in which heterogeneous firms from a source country decide how to serve two foreign markets. Following a reduction in tariffs on trade between the two foreign countries, the model predicts growth in the number of source-country firms engaging in foreign direct investment, growth in the size of affiliates that are active in reforming countries both before and after the tariff reduction, and an increase in the extent to which the sales of affiliates in reforming countries are directed towards other reforming countries. Analysis of firm-level responses to the creation of the ASEAN free trade agreement yields results that are consistent with these predictions.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3374522/antras_regional.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3374522.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Nber Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3374522
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  1. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry, and Multinational Trade," NBER Working Papers 5529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Massimo Motta & George Norman, 1993. "Does economic integration cause foreign direct investment?," Economics Working Papers 28, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2004. "Optimal Integration: Strategies for the Multinational Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 4477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  5. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  6. Haskel, Jonathan & Pereira, Sonia & Slaughter, Matthew, 2002. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3384, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jim Markusen & Caroline Ekholm, Rikard Forslid, 2005. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp050, IIIS.
  8. Heyman, Fredrik & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2004. "Is there Really a Foreign Ownership Wage Premium? Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series 199, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
  10. Stephen Yeaple & Volker Nocke, 2005. "An Assignment Theory of Foreign Direct Investment," 2005 Meeting Papers 146, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "Preferential Trading Arrangements and Industrial Location," CEPR Discussion Papers 1309, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
  13. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & DEC, 1994. "Do domestic firms benefit from foreign direct investment? Evidence from panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1248, The World Bank.
  14. Chen, Maggie X., 2009. "Regional economic integration and geographic concentration of multinational firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 355-375, April.
  15. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
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