Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Wolfgang Keller

Second Advisor

James Markusen

Third Advisor

Keith Maskus


Relative to the multinational headquarters in the US and Western Europe, the massive number of producers that these countries employ abroad have received relatively little attention in the literature. My research adds to this body of knowledge by specifically studying (1) who those producers are and (2) what technologies they use. To address question (1), the first chapter develops a theory where the choice between cross-border partnership and within-border partnership depends on the size of the gain through technology transfer from developed-country headquarters, and the second chapter provides empirical evidence. When developing-country producers have heterogeneous productivity, those with medium levels of productivity will gain sufficiently from technology transfer and choose cross-border partnership. In contrast, high- and low-productivity producers will work with their local headquarters, and the low-productivity producers will not be able to sell their products to developed countries at all. The third chapter addresses question (2) by comparing the productivity of production factors in Chinese electronics producers that are integrated with headquarters from different source countries. It finds that the productivity of skilled labor is higher in those with developed-country headquarters than those with emerging-economy headquarters, while the productivity of unskilled labor shows no such difference.

Included in

Economics Commons