American Firms Face Europe: 1992

29 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2000 Last revised: 13 Jul 2010

See all articles by Robert E. Lipsey

Robert E. Lipsey

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) at New York (Deceased)

Date Written: March 1990


The press and business magazines are filled with stories about a rush of American firms into the European Community to take advantage of, or avoid the adverse consequences of, the expected formation of a single market in 1992. Yet, it is hard o find evidence of a large shift in plant and equipment expenditures, employment, or financial investment toward the EC countries by American firms. The main reason seems to be that large American manufacturing firms are already well entrenched in the EC, and may even be better positioned to take advantage of the single market than most of their European rivals. The U.S. firms (unlike most Japanese companies) already supply almost all their share of the EC market from operations within the EC and depend very little on importing from the U.S. There is some indication of moves toward EC production by non-manufacturing operations such as distribution and services, by smaller companies, by those not now producing extensively in the EC, and by firms hoping to take part in public procurement.

Suggested Citation

Lipsey, Robert E., American Firms Face Europe: 1992 (March 1990). NBER Working Paper No. w3293. Available at SSRN:

Robert E. Lipsey (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) at New York (Deceased)

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