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Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct InvestmentAvoiding Simplicity, Embracing Complexity$
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Stephen D. Cohen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179354.001.0001

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The Many Kinds of Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations and Their Disparate Effects

(p.62) 4 Heterogeneity
Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment

Stephen D. Cohen

Oxford University Press

Given the book's pivotal argument that there is no “one size fits all” model of either MNCs or FDI, this chapter presents a lengthy analysis and description of the many distinct forms that they take. The oft-repeated imperatives of disaggregation and avoidance of generalizations are direct outgrowths of the absence of uniformity. The implications of the widespread failure of policymakers, the general public, and most scholars to recognize and appreciate heterogeneity are discussed, with specific reference to the resulting failure to differentiate between costs and benefits, high quality and low quality FDI and MNCs depending on which of the various forms and behavior patterns are assumed by an individual foreign subsidiary. The second and third sections of the chapter consist of lengthy, value-free empirical profiles of the various forms of FDI and MNCs, respectively.

Keywords:   heterogeneity, vertical integration, export processing zones, greenfield investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances

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