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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
China, FDI, gravity, and trade
Article Type: Letter from the Editor From: The Multinational Business Review, Volume 19, Issue 2
We are pleased to bring you this second issue of The Multinational Business Review (MBR), Volume 19, published by Emerald. We are now working within the generic style guidelines of Emerald journals. These require a structured abstract, citations and references in Harvard style, etc. as outlined in the submission requirements on the inside back cover of this issue, on the Emerald web site at: www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=mbr, and on the web site of MBR’s Managing Editor’s office at Saint Louis University at: www.slu.edu/x17160.xml. We have also expanded the length of papers to a maximum of 10,000 words. While we will still check compliance with Emerald’s submission guidelines at the Managing Editor’s office, ultimately authors are responsible for compliance with the submission guidelines, and papers will be returned if there are significant deviations.
In this issue, we are pleased to publish five important papers. They cover China, FDI, gravity, and trade. The first paper considers the so-called Chinese threat to the US economy. Mike W. Peng, Sunny Li Sun and Dane P. Blevins examine data on Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). They find that over 70 percent of it is involved in round tripping to Hong Kong and tax havens, meaning that Chinese firms are registering overseas to avoid paying higher domestic taxes in China. In other words, the size of actual Chinese OFDI is greatly exaggerated. Their second major finding is that most of China’s OFDI is within Asia, showing a regional impact, as with OFDI from other major countries. At MBR, we agree with Peng that IB scholars have a social responsibility to interpret and analyze data correctly such that they can add objective insight into not only the debate about Chinese economic influence, but also about other important issues in international business. We welcome comments on Peng et al.’s paper and we will also publish topical papers on other issues, in order to promote debate within our field.
The second paper, by Hwy-Chang Moon, Joseph L.C. Cheng, Min-Young Kim and Jin-Uk Kim, also has an Asian focus, considering the lessons to be drawn from the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. They link this to the recent international financial crisis by examining the extent to which FDI can help the recovery. They use data from the Annual UN World Investment Report on stocks and flows of inward and outward FDI for ten Asian countries to test the extent to which FDI acts as an economic stabilizer, dampening annual variations in GDP. Somewhat paradoxically for the UNCTAD group who have argued that inward FDI flows can help fuel a recovery, Moon et al. find that it is only stocks of FDI that act as a stabilizing influence on GDP. Yet, this is not surprising, since stock data are a more reliable indicator of underlying economic activity than the more volatile FDI flow data, which can be misleadingly thought of as a substitute for inward financial capital. The FDI stock data are a better indicator of the long run, firm level, strategic element of FDI, which leads to upgrading of a country’s economy, and thereby helps to dampen volatility in GDP changes. In other words, the FDI stock data are better linked to real economic activity, whereas FDI flow data can be mistaken as short-term financial flows, as may have occurred in recent UNCTAD World Investment Reports.
Next, we have two important papers using the gravity model. In the first of these, Byron S. Gangnes, Alyson C. Ma and Ari Van Assche also focus on China. They examine Chinese exports and find that they are clustered in regional production networks in Asia. They also report evidence that there is a trend towards a higher proportion of Chinese exports going by air transport rather than by sea and that rising oil prices have a significant effect on such transportation modes. In many ways, this paper also offers new data and insight into the popular view that rising oil prices may hinder outsourcing and globalization. Indeed, they find that there is more regional than global activity in the Chinese case.
The fourth paper by Walid Hejazi and Juan Ma examines whether English is the language of international business. They use bilateral FDI data within the large economies of the OECD to test if English-speaking countries have more FDI and if linguistic distance from English reduces FDI. Essentially, they find that the linguistic and cultural advantages of the English language are related to geographic distance. One interpretation of this finding is that English has become the language of international business.
The final paper by Elena Beleska-Spasova and Keith W. Glaister examines the nature and extent of British exports. This paper advances on the traditional-marketing literature about export initiation by explicitly incorporating the nature of firm-specific advantages as a determinant of export motivation. Increasingly, the export-marketing literature needs to become better aligned with the strategic-management literature, including concepts such as the resource-based view which is used effectively in this paper. The findings in this paper validate this proposition. Beleska-Spasova and Glaister’s paper reveals that distinct firm-specific resources and capabilities play a significant discriminating role in the firm’s perception of export stimuli (specifically, managerial resources, knowledge-based resources and strategy/planning capabilities). Furthermore, their findings show that there is a significant impact of the spread and scope of the firm’s export strategy on the firm’s sensitivity to specific export stimuli.