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

Listed author(s):
  • 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 country fs 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
Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd08-046
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  1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
  2. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2000. "The theory of endowment, intra-industry and multi-national trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-234, December.
  3. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
  6. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, July.
  7. 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.
  8. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton, 2009. "Intra-industry Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2096-2119, December.
  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. 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.
  11. 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 541-563, July.
  12. Markusen, James R & Maskus, Keith E, 2002. "Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 694-707, November.
  13. 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.
  14. Van Assche, Ari, 2008. "Modularity and the organization of international production," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 353-368, August.
  15. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
  16. Ronald B. Davies, 2008. "Hunting High and Low for Vertical FDI," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 250-267, 05.
  17. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 71-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  19. Braconier, Henrik & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Urban, Dieter, 2002. "Vertical FDI Revisited," Working Paper Series 579, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  20. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  21. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 664-678, November.
  22. 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.
  23. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-471, June.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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