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Foreign Direct Investments in Services and the Domestic Market for Expertise

  • James R. Markusen
  • Thomas F. Rutherford
  • David Tarr

Producer services such as managerial and engineering consulting can provide domestic firms with the substantial benefits of specialized knowledge that would be costly in terms of both time and money for domestic firms to develop on their own. These intermediate services are often non-traded, or costly to trade, and are best transferred through foreign direct investment. This has important implications for public policy since policies that impact on foreign direct investment are often quite different from those that impact on trade in goods. We develop a model of these services in this paper. Results show that: (1) while imported services are partial-equilibrium substitutes for domestic skilled labor, they may be general-equilibrium complements, (2) imported services lead to differential productivity effects in final goods production so that, for example, the pattern of trade in goods can reverse when FDI is permitted, and (3) the optimal tax on FDI (which we do not advocate as a practical matter) is negative.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7700.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Publication status: published as Baldwin, Richard E. and Aymo Brunetti (eds.) Economic Impact of EU Membership on Entrants. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7700
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "National Price Levels and the Prices of Tradables and Nontradables," NBER Working Papers 2536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2000. "The theory of endowment, intra-industry and multi-national trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-234, December.
  3. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Joseph F. Francois, 1990. "Trade in Producer Services and Returns Due to Specialization under Monopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 109-24, February.
  6. Matusz, Steven J. & Tarr, David, 1999. "Adjusting to trade policy reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2142, The World Bank.
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  8. Francois, Joseph F, 1990. "Producer Services, Scale, and the Division of Labor," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 715-29, October.
  9. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  10. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Markusen, James R. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 1994. "Complementarity and increasing returns in intermediate inputs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 101-119, October.
  13. Rutherford, Thomas F, 1999. "Applied General Equilibrium Modeling with MPSGE as a GAMS Subsystem: An Overview of the Modeling Framework and Syntax," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-46, October.
  14. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  15. Markusen, James R., 1990. "Derationalizing tariffs with specialized intermediate inputs and differentiated final goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 375-383, May.
  16. Thomas J. Holmes, 1999. "Localization Of Industry And Vertical Disintegration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 314-325, May.
  17. Martin, W. & Winters, L.A., 1995. "The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries," World Bank - Discussion Papers 307, World Bank.
  18. Faini, Riccardo, 1984. "Increasing Returns, Non-Traded Inputs and Regional Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 308-23, June.
  19. Rutherford, Thomas F., 1995. "Extension of GAMS for complementarity problems arising in applied economic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1299-1324, November.
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