Heterogeneous Multinational Firms and Productivity Gains from Falling FDI Barriers

Discussion Papers


by ARITA Shawn and TANAKA Kiyoyasu

February 2012


During the past decade of declining FDI barriers, small domestic firms disproportionately contracted while large multinational firms experienced a substantial growth in Japan’s manufacturing sector. This paper quantitatively assesses the impact of FDI globalization on intra-industry reallocations and aggregate productivity. We calibrate the firm-heterogeneity model of Eaton, Kortum, and Kramarz (2011) to micro-level data on Japanese multinational firms. Estimating the structural parameters of the model, we demonstrate that the model can strongly replicate the entry and sales patterns of Japanese multinationals. Counterfactual simulations show that declining FDI barriers lead to a disproportionate expansion of foreign production by more efficient firms relative to less efficient firms. A hypothetical 20% reduction in FDI barriers is found to generate a 30.7% improvement in aggregate productivity through market-share reallocation.

Keywords: Multinational firms, FDI, Firm heterogeneity, Investment Liberalization
JEL classification: F10, F23, L25, R12, R30

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