Explaining foreign ownership by comparative and competitive advantage. Empirical evidence.

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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This paper provides empirical evidence on the determinants of foreign ownership in manufacturing industries. Foreign ownership, according to the theory of international production, is the result of the combination of comparative and competitive advantage. An adequate examination of the ownership structure of an industry requires the ability to establish empirically the extent to which international competitiveness of firms rests on comparative and competitive advantage. Analysis is based on a sample of the 30 largest manufacturing firms in Austria. The distinction and definition of comparative and competitive advantage as used in this paper and following from it the conclusions about the ownership structure are consistent with the empirical evidence about the share of employees in foreign-owned firms on the industry level. In particular, the classification of firms as foreign- or domestically-owned is in line with the revealed performance differences between foreign and domestic firms.

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