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Do Multinational Enterprises Relocate Employment to Low Wage Regions? Evidence from European Multinationals

Author

Listed:
  • Jozef Konings
  • Alan Patrick Murphy

Abstract

This paper analyzes the employment behavior of home multinational enterprises (MNEs) in Europe. To this end we use a unique firm level panel data set of more than 1,000 European multinational parent enterprises and their affiliates. The affiliates are located either in the European Union (North, South), Central and Eastern Europe or both. We find for parent firms operating in the manufacturing sector that the labor cost elasticity of parent employment with respect to North EU affiliates?labor costs is positive and statistically significant, ranging from 0.03 to 0.08, depending on the specification considered. This implies employment substitution between parents and their North EU based affiliates takes place in response to wage cost differentials between the parent and its North EU based affiliates. This substitution effect becomes stronger when affiliates are operating in a different sector than their parent firm. However, we find no evidence for such substitution effects between parent employment and its affiliates that are located in low wage regions in the EU and in Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore substitution effects are absent for parent firms operating in the nonmanufacturing sector. Our results suggest that on average the competition from low wage countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the South of the EU did not contribute to a relocation of domestic jobs to these low wage regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jozef Konings & Alan Patrick Murphy, 2003. "Do Multinational Enterprises Relocate Employment to Low Wage Regions? Evidence from European Multinationals," LICOS Discussion Papers 13103, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:13103
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    File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp131.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blomstrom, Magnus & Fors, Gunnar & Lipsey, Robert E, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: Home Country Experience in the United States and Sweden," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1787-1797, November.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
    3. 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.
    4. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
    5. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 2000. "Swedish Multinationals and Competition from High- and Low-Wage Locations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 448-461, August.
    6. Robert E. Lipsey, 1999. "Foreign Production by U.S. Firms and Parent Firm Employment," NBER Working Papers 7357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2000. "Production transfer within multinational enterprises and American wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 449-472, April.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13293 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:hhs:iuiwop:490 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hans-Peter Lankes & A. J. Venables, 1996. "Foreign direct investment in economic transition: the changing pattern of investments," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 331-347, October.
    11. Mairesse, Jacques & Dormont, Brigitte, 1985. "Labor and investment demand at the firm level : A comparison of French, German and U.S. manufacturing, 1970-79," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 201-231.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Federico & Gaetano Alfredo Minerva, 2008. "Outward FDI and Local Employment Growth in Italy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(2), pages 295-324, July.
    2. Martin Falk, 2008. "Testing Gibrat's Law for European Multinational Enterprises," FIW Research Reports series I-014, FIW.
    3. Martin Falk & Yvonne Wolfmayr, 2008. "The Impact of Outward FDI in Central and Eastern Europe on Employment in the EU-15 Countries," FIW Research Reports series I-016, FIW.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Key words: Relocation; Multinational Enterprises; Labor Demand;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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