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Regional Trade Integration and Multinational Firm Strategies

  • Pol Antràs
  • C. Fritz Foley

This paper analyzes the effects of the formation of a regional trade agreement on the level and nature of multinational firm activity. We examine aggregate data that captures the response of U.S. multinational firms to the formation of the ASEAN free trade agreement. Observed patterns guide the development of a model in which heterogeneous firms from a source country decide how to serve two foreign markets. Following a reduction in tariffs on trade between the two foreign countries, the model predicts growth in the number of source-country firms engaging in foreign direct investment, growth in the size of affiliates that are active in reforming countries both before and after the tariff reduction, and an increase in the extent to which the sales of affiliates in reforming countries are directed towards other reforming countries. Analysis of firm-level responses to the creation of the ASEAN free trade agreement yields results that are consistent with these predictions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14891.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Publication status: published as Antràs, Pol, and Fritz C Foley. 2011. Regional Trade Integration and Multinational Firm Strategies. In Costs and Benefits of Economic Integration in Asia, Robert J Barro and Lee, Jong-Wha, Ch. 8. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753987.001.0001
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14891
Note: ITI
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  1. V.N. Balasubramanyam, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment," Chapters, in: International Handbook of Development Economics, Volumes 1 & 2, chapter 39 Edward Elgar.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  5. Massimo Motta & George Norman, 1993. "Does economic integration cause foreign direct investment?," Economics Working Papers 28, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Jonathan E. Haskel & Sonia C. Pereira & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2002. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," NBER Working Papers 8724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2004. "Optimal Integration: Strategies for the Multinational Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 4477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2008. "An Assignment Theory of Foreign Direct Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 529-557.
  9. Aitken, B. & Harrison, A. & Lipsey, R.E., 1995. "Wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Papers 95-21, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  10. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  11. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry and Multinational Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Heyman, Fredrik & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2004. "Is there Really a Foreign Ownership Wage Premium? Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series 199, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Diego Puga & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Preferential Trading Arrangements and Industrial Location," CEP Discussion Papers dp0267, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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