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

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  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Key words: Relocation; Multinational Enterprises; Labor Demand;
    All these keywords.

    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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