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Individual Attitudes towards the Impact of Multinational Enterprises on Local Businesses

  • Ayse Kaya

    ()

    (Department of Political Science, Swarthmore College)

  • James T. Walker

    ()

    (School of Management, University of Reading)

Individual attitudes towards multinational enterprises (MNEs) remains relatively understudied compared to individual attitudes towards other dimensions of globalization, particularly trade and immigration. In order to illuminate individual attitudes towards MNEs, this paper utilizes a large cross-country dataset (2003 International Social Survey Program) to examine individual perspectives on the impact of MNEs on local businesses. The paper draws on literature that studies the economic impacts of MNEs on local businesses, such as the transfer of technology from foreign affiliates to local businesses. Based on this literature the paper tests hypotheses to analyze how individuals’ skill-level (reflected in their educational attainment and occupational group) and the sector in which they work affects their perceptions of MNEs’ impact on local businesses. Conforming to expectations from the literature, the paper finds that highly skilled individuals who are senior-level managers, legislators, and officials are less likely to think MNEs are damaging local businesses. Also, private sector employees are less likely than public sector employees to see MNEs’ impact on local businesses as negative. The paper also finds variation in these attitudes across developed countries, developing countries, and formerly communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. In order to explore non-economic determinants of individual attitudes towards MNEs, the paper additionally explores how feelings of nationalism, confidence in democracy, and attitudes towards international affairs affect individual perspectives on MNEs. The paper additionally shows that retired citizens’ previous sector of employment and occupation influences their perception of the MNEs’ impact on local businesses and that type of FDI (M&A versus Greenfield investment) influences individual attitudes towards the impact of MNEs on local businesses.

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Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series Economics & Management Discussion Papers with number em-dp2009-02.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2009-02
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