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Vertical Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Japanese and U.S. Multinational Enterprises

  • Kiyoyasu Tanaka

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has rapidly increased in developing countries since the 1990s, but formal evidence for vertical FDI has been surprisingly mixed. This paper empirically reconsiders the factor-proportions hypothesis by exploring the role of host countryfs relative skill endowments in offshore production of multinational enterprises (MNEs). Using panel data on sales of foreign affiliates by Japanese and U.S. MNEs in the 1990s, I find that relative skill abundance has a large negative impact on Japanese affiliate sales, but little effects on U.S. affiliate sales. Robust to a wide variety of sensitivity checks, the results strongly support vertical FDI in the case of Japanese MNEs, but not U.S. MNEs. Because the dominant view in favor of horizontal FDI against vertical FDI in the previous literature results primarily from U.S. data, I empirically demonstrate that data sources on MNEs could partly explain weak evidence for vertical FDI.

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File URL: http://gcoe.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2008/pdf/gd08-046.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number gd08-046.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd08-046
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  2. Van Assche, Ari, 2008. "Modularity and the organization of international production," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 353-368, August.
  3. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
  4. 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.
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  7. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 9723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  9. Henrik Braconier & Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Dieter Urban, 2005. "Reconciling the Evidence on the Knowledge-capital Model," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 770-786, 09.
  10. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Henrik Braconier & Pehr-Johan Norback & Dieter Urban, 2002. "Vertical FDI Reviseted," Development Working Papers 167, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  12. Bruce A. Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," NBER Working Papers 11299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1001, June.
  14. Ronald B. Davies, 2002. "Hunting High and Low for Vertical FDI," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-12, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Aug 2002.
  15. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 7164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. 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.
  20. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2002. "Estimating The Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-13, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Mar 2002.
  21. 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.
  22. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  23. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "An Empirical Assessment of the Factor Proportions Explanation of Multi-National Sales," NBER Working Papers 4583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2003. "The Role of Skill Endowments in the Structure of U.S. Outward Foreign Direct Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 726-734, August.
  25. 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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