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Multi-Product Firms and Exporting: A Developing Country Perspective

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  • Robert J.R. Elliott
  • Supreeya Virakul

Abstract

In this paper, we shed additional light on the complex relationship between multinational enterprises (MNEs), exporting and economic development by making a distinction between single and multi-product firms. As far as we are aware, the export behavior of foreign firms in a multi-product setting has not previously been considered for a developing country. Using firm-level data for Thailand we show that the number of goods produced causes a much larger variation in exports volumes than in total production. Whilst the number of products exported and the total volume exported is positively correlated we find, in contrast to US studies, a surprising negative correlation between the number of products produced and the volume of production. We then go on to investigate for the first time the characteristics of multi-product firms and the number of products they produce and find the distinction between foreign owned and domestic firms as well as between foreign exporters and foreign non-exporters is important. The presence of foreign firms producing single products solely for the domestic market as well as those producing many products for export demonstrates the diversity of behavior of foreign firms in developing countries and emphasises that a foreign presence may not be as beneficial as policy makers are led to believe.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J.R. Elliott & Supreeya Virakul, "undated". "Multi-Product Firms and Exporting: A Developing Country Perspective," Discussion Papers 08/12, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:08/12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jaan Masso & Priit Vahter, 2011. "Exporting And Productivity: The Effects Of Multi-Market And Multi-Product Export Entry," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 83, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    2. Ronald B. Davies & Arman Mazhikeyev, 2015. "The Impact of Special Economic Zones on Exporting Behavior," Working Papers 201528, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Wagner Joachim, 2009. "Produktdifferenzierung in deutschen Industrieunternehmen 1995 – 2004: Ausmaß und Bestimmungsgründe / Product Diversification in German Manufacturing Enterprises 1995 – 2004: Extent and Determinants," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(5), pages 615-642, October.
    4. Paul De Grauwe & Zhaoyong Zhang & Filip Abraham & Jan Van Hove & Zuzanna Studnicka, 2016. "David vs. Goliath? Smaller European Exporting firms facing Asian competition on global markets," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(1), pages 18-40, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinationals; Firm characteristics; Multi-product; Exports;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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