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Foreign direct investment

About: Foreign direct investment is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 47229 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 1009891 citation(s). The topic is also known as: Foreign direct investment & FDI. more


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1057/PALGRAVE.JIBS.8490676
Jan Johanson1, Jan-Erik Vahlne2Institutions (2)
Abstract: On the basis of empirical research, a model of the internationalization process of the firm is developed. The model focuses on the gradual acquisition, integration and use of knowledge about foreign markets and operations, and on the incrementally increasing commitments to foreign markets. In particular, attention is concentrated on the increasing involvement in the individual foreign country. more

Topics: Uppsala model (60%), Foreign direct investment (57%), Foreign policy analysis (57%) more

9,415 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0022-1996(97)00033-0
Abstract: We test the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth in a cross-country regression framework, utilizing data on FDI flows from industrial countries to 69 developing countries over the last two decades. Our results suggest that FDI is an important vehicle for the transfer of technology, contributing relatively more to growth than domestic investment. However, the higher productivity of FDI holds only when the host country has a minimum threshold stock of human capital. Thus, FDI contributes to economic growth only when a sufficient absorptive capability of the advanced technologies is available in the host economy. more

Topics: Foreign direct investment (61%), Productivity (51%), Human capital (51%)

3,983 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1257/000282804322970814
Abstract: Multinational sales have grown at high rates over the last two decades, outpacing the remarkable expansion of trade in manufactures. Consequently, the trade literature has sought to incorporate the mode of foreign market access into the “new” trade theory. This literature recognizes that Ž rms can serve foreign buyers through a variety of channels: they can export their products to foreign customers, serve them through foreign subsidiaries, or license foreign Ž rms to produce their products. Our work focuses on the Ž rm’s choice between exports and “horizontal” foreign direct investment (FDI). Horizontal FDI refers to an investment in a foreign production facility that is designed to serve customers in the foreign market. Firms invest abroad when the gains from avoiding trade costs outweigh the costs of maintaining capacity in multiple markets. This is known as the proximity-concentration tradeoff. We introduce heterogeneous Ž rms into a simple multicountry, multisector model, in which Ž rms face a proximity-concentration trade-off. Every Ž rm decides whether to serve a foreign market, and whether to do so through exports or local subsidiary sales. These modes of market access have different relative costs: exporting involves lower Ž xed costs while FDI involves lower variable costs. Our model highlights the important role of within-sector Ž rm productivity differences in explaining the structure of international trade and investment. First, only the most productive Ž rms engage in foreign activities. This result mirrors other Ž ndings on Ž rm heterogeneity and trade; in particular, the results reported in Melitz (2003). Second, of those Ž rms that serve foreign markets, only the most productive engage in FDI. Third, FDI sales relative to exports are larger in sectors with more Ž rm heterogeneity. Using U.S. exports and afŽ liate sales data that cover 52 manufacturing sectors and 38 countries, we show that cross-sectoral differences in Ž rm heterogeneity predict the composition of trade and investment in the manner suggested by our model. We construct several measures of Ž rm heterogeneity, using different data sources, and show that our results are robust across all these measures. In addition, we conŽ rm the predictions of the proximityconcentration trade-off. That is, Ž rms tend to substitute FDI sales for exports when transport * Helpman: Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel Aviv University, and CIAR (e-mail:; Melitz: Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, National Bureau of Economic Research, and Centre for Economic Policy Research (e-mail: mmelitz@; Yeaple: Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, and National Bureau of Economic Research (e-mail: The statistical analysis of Ž rmlevel data on U.S. Multinational Corporations reported in this study was conducted at the International Investment Division, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, under an arrangement that maintained legal conŽ dentiality requirements. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily re ect those of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Elhanan Helpman thanks the NSF for Ž nancial support. We also thank Daron Acemoglu, Roberto Rigobon, Yona Rubinstein, and Dani Tsiddon for comments on an earlier draft, and Man-Keung Tang for excellent research assistance. 1 See Wilfred J. Ethier (1986), Ignatius Horstmann and James R. Markusen (1987), and Ethier and Markusen (1996) for models that incorporate the licensing alternative. We therefore exclude “vertical” motives for FDI that involve fragmentation of production across countries. See Helpman (1984, 1985), Markusen (2002, Ch. 9), and Gordon H. Hanson et al. (2002) for treatments of this form of FDI. 3 See, for example, Horstmann and Markusen (1992), S. Lael Brainard (1993), and Markusen and Anthony J. Venables (2000). 4 See also Andrew B. Bernard et al. (2003) for an alternative theoretical model and Yeaple (2003a) for a model based on worker-skill heterogeneity. James R. Tybout (2003) surveys the recent micro-level evidence on trade that has motivated these theoretical models. 5 This result is loosely connected to the documented empirical pattern that foreign-owned afŽ liates are more productive than domestically owned producers. See Mark E. Doms and J. Bradford Jensen (1998) for the United States and Sourafel Girma et al. (2002) for the United Kingdom. more

3,548 Citations

Open accessBook
15 May 1976-
Abstract: The story about the delayed publication of this seminal work is by now probably familiar to most specialists in international business. As reported in his laudatory introduction, Professor Kindleberger recommended Hymer's doctoral dissertation for publication by the M.I.T. Press in 1960. The publication committee of the Department of Economics at M.l.T. rejected publication of the thesis, one of the reasons being that "the argument was too simple and straightforward." Hymer apparently did not bother to have the thesis chapters submitted for journal publication, and so it was left to Kindleberger to advertise the thesis in his textbook on international economics. Professor Kindleberger is also too modest to mention that his own first rate book on American Business Abroad is a brilliant summary and extension of Hymer's theoretical work. In any case the 1960 Hymer thesis became a basic reference in all subsequent work on the multinational corporation (MNC), but one which many readers found hard to acquire. Its recent publication is to be welcomed, and is a belated recognition by M.I.T. of the brillance of Hymer's thesis. more

3,427 Citations

Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: Many countries compete against one another in attracting foreign investors by offering ever more generous incentive packages and justifying their actions with the productivity gains that are expected to accrue to domestic producers from knowledge externalities generated by foreign affiliates. Despite this being hugely important to public policy choices, there is little conclusive evidence indicating that domestic firms benefit from foreign presence in their sector. It is possible, though, that researchers have been looking for foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers in the wrong place. Multinationals have an incentive to prevent information leakage that would enhance the performance of their local competitors in the same industry but at the same time may want to transfer knowledge to their local suppliers in other sectors. Spillovers from FDI may be, therefore, more likely to take place through backward linkages - that is, contacts between domestic suppliers of intermediate inputs and their multinational clients - and thus would not have been captured by the earlier literature. This paper focuses on the understudied issue of FDI spillovers through backward linkages and goes beyond existing studies by shedding some light on factors driving this phenomenon. It also improves over existing literature by addressing several econometric problems that may have biased the results of earlier research. Based on a firm-level panel data set from Lithuania, the estimation results are consistent with the existence of productivity spillovers. They suggest that a 10 percent increase in the foreign presence in downstream sectors is associated with 0.38 percent rise in output of each domestic firm in the supplying industry. The data indicate that these spillovers are not restricted geographically, since local firms seem to benefit from the operation of downstream foreign affiliates on their own, as well as in other regions. The results further show that greater productivity benefits are associated with domestic-market, rather than export-oriented, foreign affiliates. But no difference is detected between the effects of fully-owned foreign firms and those with joint domestic and foreign ownership. The findings of a positive correlation between productivity growth of domestic firms and the increase in multinational presence in downstream sectors should not, however, be interpreted as a call for subsidizing FDI. These results are consistent with the existence of knowledge spillovers from foreign affiliates to their local suppliers, but they may also be a result of increased competition in upstream sectors. While the former case would call for offering FDI incentive packages, it would not be the optimal policy in the latter. Certainly more research is needed to disentangle these two effects. This paper - a product of Trade, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to study the contribution of trade and foreign direct investment to technology transfer. more

Topics: Foreign direct investment (60%), Foreign ownership (59%), Productivity (54%) more

2,774 Citations

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Topic's top 5 most impactful authors

Peter J. Buckley

115 papers, 10.3K citations

Holger Görg

81 papers, 4.4K citations

Karl P. Sauvant

60 papers, 861 citations

Nigel Driffield

49 papers, 1.9K citations

Beata Smarzynska Javorcik

47 papers, 6.2K citations

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