Multinational Enterprises, Foreign Direct Investment and Trade in China: the Chain of Causality in 1980‐2003

Jianhong Zhang (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Jan P.A.M. Jacobs (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Arjen van Witteloostuijn (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Publication date: 1 September 2007


Multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a dominant role in the international business (IB) literature. Traditionally, by far the majority of IB studies deal with issues at the micro level of the individual MNE, or at the meso level of a sample of individual MNEs in industries. This paper focuses on the impact of MNE behavior through foreign direct investment (FDI) on a country’s international trade, and vice versa. In so doing, this study responds to a recent plea for more macro‐level studies in IB into the effect of MNE behavior on the macroeconomic performance of countries as a whole, particularly developing and emerging economies. In the current study, we focus on the largest developing or emerging economy of all: China. Applying sophisticated econometric techniques, we unravel the causality and direction of FDI‐trade linkages for the Chinese economy in the 1980‐2003 period.



Zhang, J., Jacobs, J. and van Witteloostuijn, A. (2007), "Multinational Enterprises, Foreign Direct Investment and Trade in China: the Chain of Causality in 1980‐2003", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 48-57.

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