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Domestic Effects of the Foreign Activities of US Multinationals

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Abstract:

Do firms investing abroad simultaneously reduce their domestic activity? This paper analyzes the relationship between the domestic and foreign operations of US manufacturing firms between 1982 and 2004 by instrumenting for changes in foreign operations with GDP growth rates of the foreign countries in which they invest. Estimates produced using this instrument indicate that 10 percent greater foreign investment is associated with 2.6 percent greater domestic investment, and 10 percent greater foreign employee compensation is associated with 3.7 percent greater domestic employee compensation. These results do not support the popular notion that expansions abroad reduce a firm's domestic activity, instead suggesting the opposite.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/pol.1.1.181

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • American Economic Journal: Economic Policy publishes papers covering a range of topics, the common theme being the role of economic policy in economic outcomes. Subject areas include public economics; urban and regional economics; public policy aspects of health, education, welfare and political institutions; law and economics; economic regulation; and environmental and natural resource economics.
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