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Exports versus Multinational Production under Nominal Uncertainty

Author

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  • Logan Lewis

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

I consider the effects of nominal uncertainty on the decision firms face between exporting and multinational production. I develop a stochastic general equilibrium model of trade and multinational production and examine its implications under monetary uncertainty. If both exports and multinational production are priced in the local (destination) currency, the model implies that nominal uncertainty does not affect the relative decision. Because the vast majority of U.S. exports are priced in dollars, however, I consider an alternative model in which exports are producer-cost priced while multinational production is local-currency priced. In this model environment, an increase in foreign nominal volatility reduces multinational sales relative to exports. Intuitively, a foreign nominal contraction benefits an exporter through both the increased home-currency value of profits and the automatically lower prices faced by foreign consumers. Because multinational firms set their prices in the foreign currency, they do not benefit from the latter. I take the model's prediction to U.S. data, using inflation volatility as a proxy for nominal volatility. Using sectoral data on sales by majority-owned foreign affiliates matched with U.S. exports, I find that an increase in inflation volatility leads to a significantly lower ratio of multinational production to total foreign sales.

Suggested Citation

  • Logan Lewis, 2011. "Exports versus Multinational Production under Nominal Uncertainty," 2011 Meeting Papers 223, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Gaigne & Anne-Celia Disdier & Jose de Sousa, 2015. "Export Decision under Risk," 2015 Meeting Papers 1272, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Naknoi, Kanda, 2015. "Exchange rate volatility and fluctuations in the extensive margin of trade," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 322-339.
    3. Carl Gaigne & Anne-Celia Disdier & Jose de Sousa, 2015. "Export Decision under Risk," 2015 Meeting Papers 1272, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Cooke, Dudley, 2014. "Monetary shocks, exchange rates, and the extensive margin of exports," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 128-145.
    5. Zlate, Andrei, 2016. "Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 34-49.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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