Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2014:42: Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: Exploring the Hierarchy of International Linkages

Joakim Gullstrand (), Karin Olofsdotter () and Susanna Thede ()
Additional contact information
Joakim Gullstrand: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Karin Olofsdotter: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Susanna Thede: Institute for European Studies, University of Malta

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore two dimensions of the firm hierarchy of international market-specific linkages using data for Swedish manufacturing firms over the 1997 to 2007 period. First, we investigate the productivity ordering with respect to importing, exporting and investing abroad. Second, we investigate the productivity ordering with respect to linkage complexity (i.e. the number of linkages at firm level). Our findings support a general productivity hierarchy from importing to exporting and then investing abroad as well as from low- to high-linkage complexity. However, an industry-by-industry examination shows that the hierarchical structure is only generally upheld for linkage complexity while the ordering of the three linkages does not exhibit the same regularity across industries. In extending the analysis, we find these irregularities to be upheld by industry characteristics. Lastly, we go beyond the productivity ordering and explore firm characteristics correlated with the linkage complexity.

Keywords: manufacturing firms; productivity ordering; market linkages

JEL-codes: F14; F21; F23

20 pages, December 5, 2014

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