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FDI versus Exports: Multiple Host Countries and Empirical Evidence


  • Oberhofer, Harald

    () (University of Salzburg)

  • Pfaffermayr, Michael

    () (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)


There are two main options for companies to serve foreign markets: exports and foreign direct investment (FDI). Based on the Helpman, Melitz and Yeaple (2004) model for multiple host countries this paper derives a clear theoretical prediction for the decision between both strategies. A bivariate probit model is estimated using a large data set of European companies to analyze the probability of using one or the other strategy. The empirical evidence indicates that more productive firms less (more) probably use the export (FDI) strategy to serve foreign markets. Moreover, a considerable number of companies use a combination of both strategies to serve foreign markets, which is in line with a multiple country model.

Suggested Citation

  • Oberhofer, Harald & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2011. "FDI versus Exports: Multiple Host Countries and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers in Economics 2011-3, University of Salzburg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:sbgwpe:2011_003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlos Pestana Barros & Bernd Frick & Jose Passos, 2009. "Coaching for survival: the hazards of head coach careers in the German 'Bundesliga'," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3303-3311.
    2. Miguel Manjón-Antolín & Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod, 2008. "Firm survival: methods and evidence," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Silviano Esteve-Pérez & Juan Mañez-Castillejo, 2008. "The Resource-Based Theory of the Firm and Firm Survival," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 231-249, March.
    4. Silviano Pérez & Amparo Llopis & Juan Llopis, 2004. "The Determinants of Survival of Spanish Manufacturing Firms," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 25(3), pages 251-273, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Zhiyuan & Xu, Yue & Wang, Peijie & Akamavi, Raphaël, 2016. "A pendulum gravity model of outward FDI and export," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1356-1371.
    2. Filomena Pietrovito & Alberto Franco Pozzolo & Luca Salvatici, 2016. "Internationalization choices: an ordered probit analysis at industry level," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 561-594, March.
    3. Pinuccia Calia & Maria Ferrante, 2013. "How do firms combine different internationalisation modes? A multivariate probit approach," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(4), pages 663-696, December.
    4. repec:spr:chfecr:v:4:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1186_s40589-016-0037-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Farrukh Suvankulov, 2015. "Revisiting National Border Effects in Foreign Trade in Goods of Canadian Provinces," Staff Working Papers 15-28, Bank of Canada.
    6. Aurora Teixeira & Cátia Coimbra, 2014. "The determinants of the internationalization speed of Portuguese university spin-offs: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 270-308, September.
    7. Ronny Thomas & K. Narayanan, 2016. "Outward FDI, Exports and Technological Efforts: A Study of Indian Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers id:11383, eSocialSciences.
    8. Iza Lejárraga & Harald Oberhofer, 2015. "Performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises in services trade: evidence from French firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 673-702, October.
    9. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
    10. Cho, Janghee & Chun, Hyunbae & Hur, Jung, 2014. "Choosing multiple offshoring strategies: Determinants and complementarity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 42-57.

    More about this item


    Heterogeneous Firms; Exports; Foreign Direct Investment; Multiple Host Countries; Bivariate Probit Estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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