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Optimal Integration Strategies for the Multinational Firm

  • Gene M. Grossman

    (Princeton University)

  • Elhanan Helpman

    (Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, and CIAR)

  • Adam Szeidl

    (Harvard University)

We examine integration strategies of multinational firms that face a rich array of choices of international organization. Each firm in an industry must provide headquarter services from its home country, produce intermediate inputs, and assemble the intermediate goods into final products. Both production of intermediate goods and assembly can be performed at home, in another “Northern” country, in the low-wage “South,” or in several of these locations. We study the equilibrium choices of firms that differ in productivity (and thus size), focusing on the role of industry characteristics such as the fixed costs of foreign subsidiaries, the cost of transporting intermediate and final goods, and the share of the consumer market that resides in the South in determining optimal integration strategies.

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File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/wwseconpapers/papers/dp225.pdf
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics. in its series Working Papers with number 142.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:pri:wwseco:dp225
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 8728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry and Multinational Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2003. "Managerial Incentives and the International Organization of Production," CEPR Discussion Papers 3737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," NBER Working Papers 9439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Karolina Ekholm & Rikard Forslid & James Markusen, 2003. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 9517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  10. Michael P. Keane & Susan E. Feinberg, 2006. "Accounting for the Growth of MNC-Based Trade Using a Structural Model of U.S. MNCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1515-1558, December.
  11. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Outsourcing versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 9300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2003. "Optimal Integration Strategies for the Multinational Firm," NBER Working Papers 10189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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