Multinational Activity of European Firms and Heterogeneity
30 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018
Date Written: May 2018
This paper offers an empirical assessment of the multinational activity of European firms. It takes the predictions of models of firm heterogeneity and FDI activity as a reference to explore the characteristics of multinational firms from 30 European countries. We use a data set, based on ORBIS, which links information of parent–affiliate pairs of firms. Our results show that more productive firms have greater multinational activity in terms of both scope, the number of foreign markets where they invest, and scale, the volume of local sales by subsidiaries active in foreign markets. The estimation of gravity equations shows that country characteristics that encourage multinational activity successively induce the entry of less productive parent firms. We confirm this asymmetry for the GDPs of the home and host countries, distance, contiguity and other standard gravity equation variables.
Keywords: firm heterogeneity, foreign direct investment, multinational corporations, productivity
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