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Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise

  • James R. Markusen
  • Keith E. Maskus

Recent theoretical developments have incorporated endogenous multinational firms into the general-equilibrium model of trade. One simple taxonomy separates the theory into vertical' models in which firms geographically separate activities by stages of production and horizontal' models of multi-plant firms which duplicate roughly the same activities in many countries. We refer to a hybrid of these two as the 'knowledge capital model'. In this paper, we nest these three models within an unrestricted model. Econometric tests give strong support to the horizontal model and overwhelming reject the vertical model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7164.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Publication status: published as Topics in Empirical International Economics, Blomstrom, M. and L.Goldberg,eds., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000, forthcoming.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7164
Note: ITI
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  1. Karolina Ekholm,, . "Factor Endowments and the Pattern of Affiliate Production by Multinational Enterprises," Discussion Papers 97/19, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  2. 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.
  3. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony, 1996. "The role of multinational firms in the wage-gap debate," Discussion Papers, Series II 322, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  5. 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.
  6. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  7. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1987. "Strategic Investments and the Development of Multinationals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 109-21, February.
  8. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 71-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ekholm, Karolina, 1998. "Headquarter Services and Revealed Factor Abundance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 545-53, November.
  10. 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 520-44, September.
  11. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1998. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 6773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  13. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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