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An Assignment Theory of Foreign Direct Investment

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Yeaple
  • Volker Nocke

    () (Department of Economics University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We develop an assignment theory to analyze the volume and composition of foreign direct investment (FDI). Firms conduct FDI by either engaging in greenfield investment or in cross-border acquisitions. Cross-border acquisitions involve firms trading heterogeneous corporate assets to exploit complementarities, while greenfield FDI involves building a new plant in the foreign market. In equilibrium, greenfield FDI and cross-border acquisitions co-exist, but the composition of FDI between these modes varies with firm and country characteristics. Firms engaging in greenfield investment are systematically more efficient than those engaging in cross-border acquisitions. Furthermore, most FDI takes the form of cross-border acquisitions when factor price differences between countries are small, while greenfield investment plays a more important role for FDI from high-wage into low-wage countries. These results capture important features of the data.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Yeaple & Volker Nocke, 2005. "An Assignment Theory of Foreign Direct Investment," 2005 Meeting Papers 146, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:146
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.org/sed2005/up.21111.1105462460.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign Direct Investment; Mergers; Greenfield; Firm Heterogeneity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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