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Internalization theory, despite criticism of its empirical deficiency, has dominated the industrial organization approach to the multinational enterprise and its foreign direct investment (FDI) decisions. Liu improves the empirical foundations of internalization theory, through the elaboration of the FDI signaling framework, which holds that a firm's direct foreign investment influences the perceptions of less-informed market participants. The signaling concept is derived from the premise that a firm's intangible assets in know-how cannot be correctly priced in a market with asymmetric information, and this motivates the firm's decision to undertake FDI. If the premise is correct, the firm's decision is based on inside information, and the firm's action reveals that information to the market. The firm's FDI internalization is evidence of management's confidence in its intangible assets, and its action may further influence market perceptions.

The hypotheses generated along this line of analysis are subjected to investigation, and the evidence supports the FDI signaling proposition. Moreover, the study represents an indirect test of internalization theory. As a result, internalization is transformed from a untested theory to an empirical result.

  • ISBN13: 9780275954833
  • Publisher: Praeger
  • Pubilcation Year: 1997
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 00200
SeriesStudies; 77. Lives of the Theatre
Publication DateSeptember 16, 1997
Primary CategoryBusiness & Economics/Investments & Securities - General

Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Enterprise: A Re-Examination Using Signaling Theory

Scott Liu

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