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Foreign Owners and Plant Survival


  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Fredrik Sjoholm


In recent years, international capital flows of all types have increased dramatically and most governments have been actively encouraging inflows of direct investment. However, concerns remain that reliance on foreign multinationals may be a risky development strategy as foreign firms are likely to be less rooted in the local economy and may be quicker to close down production. This paper asks whether foreign owners are more likely to close plants than domestic owners. In Indonesia, plants with any foreign ownership are far less likely to close than wholly-owned domestic plants. However, the lower probability of shutdown is a result of the larger size of foreign plants rather than their nationality of ownership. Controlling for plant size and productivity, we find that foreign plants are significantly more likely to close than comparable domestic establishments.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & Fredrik Sjoholm, 2003. "Foreign Owners and Plant Survival," NBER Working Papers 10039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10039
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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Blomstrom, Magnus & Sjoholm, Fredrik, 1999. "Technology transfer and spillovers: Does local participation with multinationals matter?1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 915-923, April.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2002. "The Deaths of Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 9026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Entry, Exit and Establishment Survival in UK Manufacturing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 91-112, March.
    5. Francesca Fabbri & Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Does Nationality Of Ownership Matter For Labor Demands?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 698-707, 04/05.
    6. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
    7. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. ""Footloose" Multinationals?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(1), pages 1-19, January.
    8. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & DEC, 1994. "Do domestic firms benefit from foreign direct investment? Evidence from panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1248, The World Bank.
    9. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    10. Robert E. Lipsey, 2002. "Home and Host Country Effects of FDI," NBER Working Papers 9293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:hhs:iuiwop:490 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U. S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-698.
    13. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    14. David A. Riker & S. Lael Brainard, 1997. "U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries," NBER Working Papers 5959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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