Foreign Direct Investments in Services and the Domestic Market for Expertise

39 Pages Posted: 17 May 2000 Last revised: 17 Oct 2010

See all articles by James R. Markusen

James R. Markusen

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas F. Rutherford

Centre for Energy Policy and Economics

David G. Tarr

International Trade Analysis

Date Written: May 2000

Abstract

Producer services such as managerial and engineering consulting can provide domestic firms with the substantial benefits of specialized knowledge that would be costly in terms of both time and money for domestic firms to develop on their own. These intermediate services are often non-traded, or costly to trade, and are best transferred through foreign direct investment. This has important implications for public policy since policies that impact on foreign direct investment are often quite different from those that impact on trade in goods. We develop a model of these services in this paper. Results show that: (1) while imported services are partial-equilibrium substitutes for domestic skilled labor, they may be general-equilibrium complements, (2) imported services lead to differential productivity effects in final goods production so that, for example, the pattern of trade in goods can reverse when FDI is permitted, and (3) the optimal tax on FDI (which we do not advocate as a practical matter) is negative.

Suggested Citation

Markusen, James R. and Rutherford, Thomas F. and Tarr, David G., Foreign Direct Investments in Services and the Domestic Market for Expertise (May 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7700. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228992

James R. Markusen (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-0748 (Phone)
303-492-8960 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas F. Rutherford

Centre for Energy Policy and Economics ( email )

ETH-Zentrum
Zurich, CH-8092
United States
+41 (0)44/632 6359 (Phone)
+41 (0)44/632 1622 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepe.ethz.ch/

David G. Tarr

International Trade Analysis ( email )

7901 Hispanola Avenue
Apt. 1102
North Bay Village, FL 33141
United States
5712242796 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/davidgtarr/

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