IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Tradeoff between Multinational Sales and Trade

Listed author(s):
  • S. Lael Brainard
Registered author(s):

    This paper empirically investigates the role of transport costs, trade and investment barriers, production scale economies, and firm- specific advantages in determining the use of overseas production relative to exports. The proximity-concentration hypothesis is robust in explaining the share of total sales accounted for by affiliate sales: this share is greater the higher are transport costs and trade barriers and the lower are plant scale economies and investment barriers. Although strictly speaking, the proximity-concentration hypothesis applies to the shares of affiliate sales and exports rather than the levels, the effects of trade and investment barriers on the levels are similar to their effects on the shares, controlling for simultaneity, and so is that of freight factors in the trade estimates. The elasticity of inward and outward net affiliate sales with respect to tariffs is around 0.45, and that with respect to NTBs is an additional 0.17. The elasticity of both imports and exports with respect to freight factors is -1. However, the effect of freight factors on the level of affiliate sales is not robust, and the probability of observing any affiliate sales is increasing in proximity. The overall complementarity between trade and affiliate sales arises in part because relative income and intellectual property intensity increase both. In contrast, affiliate sales and trade move in opposite directions with increases in advertising intensity, suggesting that advertising-intensive products require a local presence.

    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:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4580.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Dec 1993
    Publication status: published as American Economic Review, Vol. 87, no. 4 (September 1997): 520-544.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4580
    Note: ITI
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page:

    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.:

    in new window

    1. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-481, August.
    2. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-153, February.
    3. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "An Empirical Assessment of the Factor Proportions Explanation of Multi-National Sales," NBER Working Papers 4583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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:nbr:nberwo:4580. 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.