IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The internationalization process of firms : From exports to FDI ?

Listed author(s):
  • Paola Conconi

    ()

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES)
    CEPR)

  • André Sapir

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES)
    CEPR)

  • Maurizio Zanardi

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES))

We describe a simple model in which domestic firms decide whether to serve a foreign market through exports or horizontal foreign direct investment (FDI). This choice involves a trade-off between the higher variable trade costs associated with exports and the higher fixed set-up costs associated with establishing foreign subsidiaries. Crucially, firms are uncertain about their profitability in foreign markets and can only learn it by operating there. To obtain market-specific knowledge, firms may follow an “internationalization process”, serving the foreign market via exports first and eventually, in some cases, switching to local subsidiary sales. To assess the validity of the predictions of our model, we use firm-level data on export and FDI decisions in individual destination markets for all companies registered in Belgium over the period 1997-2008. We show that firms’ strategies to serve foreign markets depend not only on the variable and fixed costs associated with exports and FDI, but also on the export experience they have acquired in that market.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp198en.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 198.

as
in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201010-198
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, B-1000 Bruxelles

Phone: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 25 34
Fax: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 31 62
Web page: https://www.nbb.be/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rauch, J E & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Starting Small in an Unfamiliar Environment," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4rp145hc, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Jacques Melitz & Farid Toubal, 2014. "Native language, spoken language, translation and trade," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01306641, HAL.
  3. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
  4. Leonardo Iacovone & BeataS. Javorcik, 2010. "Multi-Product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 481-499, 05.
  5. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Horst Raff & Michael J. Ryan, 2008. "Firm-Specific Characteristics and the Timing of Foreign Direct Investment Projects," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(1), pages 1-31, April.
  7. Paola Conconi & André Sapir & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "The Internationalization Process of Firms: from Exports to FDI," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-09, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Laura Alfaro & Pol Antras & Davin Chor & Paola Conconi, 2015. "Internalizing Global Value Chains: A Firm-Level Analysis," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2015-29, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Rafael Rob & Nikolaos Vettas, 2003. "Foreign Direct Investment and Exports with Growing Demand," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. Keith Head & John Ries, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus Export Decision of Japanese Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 10052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2009. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5), pages 692-734, 05.
  12. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lawless, Martina, 2009. "Firm export dynamics and the geography of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 245-254, April.
  15. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1995. "Exploring New Markets: Direct Investment, Contractual Relations and the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 5029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Berthou, Antoine & Vicard, Vincent, 2013. "Firms' export dynamics: experience vs. size," Working Paper Series 1616, European Central Bank.
  17. Theodore H. Moran & Edward M. Graham & Magnus Blomstrom, 2005. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Development?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3810, January.
  18. Facundo Albornoz & Hector Calvo-Pardo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," CEP Discussion Papers dp0974, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Rubén Segura-Cayuela & Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," Working Papers 0811, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  20. Morales, Eduardo & Sheu, Gloria & Zahler, Andrés, 2011. "Gravity and extended gravity: estimating a structural model of export entry," MPRA Paper 30311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Ana Fernandes & Heiwai Tang, 2014. "Learning to Export from Neighbors," Development Working Papers 370, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 26 Jun 2014.
  22. 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.
  23. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
  24. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
  26. Jan Johanson & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1977. "The Internationalization Process of the Firm—A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 8(1), pages 23-32, March.
  27. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self Discovery," CEPR Discussion Papers 3356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Bruce A. Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," NBER Working Papers 11299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Neumayer, Eric & Spess, Laura, 2005. "Do bilateral investment treaties increase foreign direct investment to developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1567-1585, October.
  30. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  31. Laura Alfaro & Paola Conconi & Harald Fadinger & Andrew F. Newman, 2010. "Do Prices Determine Vertical Integration? Evidence from Trade Policy," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-060, Harvard Business School, revised May 2013.
  32. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
  33. Facundo Albornoz & Hector Calvo-Pardo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas, 2012. "Sequential exporting: how firms break into foreign markets," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 364, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  34. 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.
  35. Oldenski, Lindsay, 2012. "Export Versus FDI and the Communication of Complex Information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 312-322.
  36. Ines Buono & Harald Fadinger & Romain Aeberhardt, 2009. "Learning and the Dynamics of Exporting: Theory and Evidence from French Firms," 2009 Meeting Papers 606, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  37. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Relationship Specificity, Incomplete Contracts and the Pattern of Trade," International Trade 0512018, EconWPA.
  38. Hurn, A S & Wright, Robert E, 1994. "Geology or Economics? Testing Models of Irreversible Investment Using North Sea Oil Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 363-371, March.
  39. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
  40. Sebastian Krautheim, 2007. "Export-Supporting FDI," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/24, European University Institute.
  41. Rocco Huang, 2005. "Distance and Trade: Disentangling unfamiliarity effects and transport cost effects," International Trade 0511010, EconWPA.
  42. Tailan Chi & Donald J McGuire, 1996. "Collaborative Ventures and Value of Learning: Integrating the Transaction Cost and Strategic Option Perspectives on the Choice of Market Entry Modes," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(2), pages 285-307, June.
  43. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
  44. Natalia Ramondo & Veronica Rappoport & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "The proximity-concentration tradeoff under uncertainty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54268, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  45. Antoine Berthou & Vincent Vicard, 2015. "Firms' Export Dynamics: Experience Versus Size," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(7), pages 1130-1158, 07.
  46. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-544, September.
  47. Favero, Carlo A & Pesaran, M Hashem & Sharma, Sunil, 1994. "A Duration Model of Irreversible Oil Investment: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(S), pages 95-112, Suppl. De.
  48. Peter Egger & Valeria Merlo, 2012. "BITs Bite: An Anatomy of the Impact of Bilateral Investment Treaties on Multinational Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1240-1266, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201010-198. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.