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Scale, Scope, and the International Expansion Strategies of Multiproduct Firms

  • Stephen Ross Yeaple

A growing literature seeks to understand how the characteristics of firms shape the manner in which they serve foreign markets. We consider an environment in which multiproduct firms can sell their products in multiple countries from multiple locations. We show that there are strong empirical regularities in the expansion strategies of U.S. multinational firms and that simple extensions of standard models do not explain these regularities. We augment these models by introducing a framework in which organizational capital is a scarce input within the firm that has to be allocated to particular products and production locations and show that the standard model, so amended, is consistent with the data. We then use the model to analyze the productivity effect of changes in international frictions both within and across firms.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19166.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19166
Note: ITI
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  1. 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.
  2. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Multiple-product firms and product switching," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27861, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Matsusaka, John G, 2001. "Corporate Diversification, Value Maximization, and Organizational Capabilities," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(3), pages 409-31, July.
  5. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
  6. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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