Trade, Location of Economic Activity and the MNE: A Search for an Eclectic Approach

  • John H. Dunning


The main task of this paper is to discuss ways in which production financed by foreign direct investment, that is, that undertaken by multinational enterprises (MNEs), has affected our thinking about the international allocation of resources and the exchange of goods and services between countries. The analysis takes, as its starting point, the growing convergence between the theories of international trade and production, and argues the case for an integrated approach to international economic involvement, based both on the location-specific endowments of countries and the ownership-specific endowments of enterprises. In pursuing this approach, the paper sets out a systemic explanation of the foreign activities of enterprises, in terms of their ability to internalise markets to their advantage. It concludes with a brief examination of some of the effects which the MNE is allegedly having on the spatial allocation of resources, and on the patterns of trade between countries.


International Trade Home Country Direct Investment Foreign Market Vertical Integration 
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© The Nobel Foundation 1977

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  • John H. Dunning

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