Production Patterns of Multinational Enterprises: The Knowledge-Capital Model Revisited

Discussion Papers


by Kazuhiko OYAMADA

July 2017


To prepare an answer to the question of how a developing country can attract foreign direct investment (FDI), this paper explored the factors and policies that may help bring FDI into a developing country by utilizing an extended version of the knowledge-capital model. With a special focus on the effects of a free trade agreement (FTA) or an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between a pair of market and non-market countries, simulations with the model revealed the following: (1) although FTA/EPA generally tends to increase FDI to a developing country, the possibility of improving welfare through increased demand for skilled and unskilled labor decreases as the size of the country grows; (2) a developing country may suffer severe welfare losses through FTA/EPA if the availability of skilled labor is extremely limited; and (3) a developing country can enhance welfare gains from a FTA, and it is even possible to recover the welfare effects from negative to positive, by making the arrangement an EPA.

Keywords: foreign direct investment; multinational enterprise; export platform; complex integration; free trade agreement; economic partnership agreement
JEL classification: F11; F12; F15; F23

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