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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. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni, Jr. & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 8433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Ronald B. Davies, 2008. "Hunting High and Low for Vertical FDI," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 250-267, 05.
  4. Van Assche, Ari, 2008. "Modularity and the organization of international production," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 353-368, August.
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  7. 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.
  8. Braconier, Henrik & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Urban, Dieter, 2002. "Vertical FDI Revisited," Working Paper Series 579, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton, 2009. "Intra-industry Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2096-2119, December.
  10. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," NBER Working Papers 12091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  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. 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.
  17. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. 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.
  19. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2002. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," NBER Working Papers 8929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1998. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 6773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Braconier, Henrik & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Urban, Dieter, 2003. "Reconciling the Evidence on the Knowledge Capital Model," Working Paper Series 590, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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