Heterogeneous firms and Foreign Direct Investment Strategies

Charlie Joyez

Novembre 2017

Université Paris-Dauphine

Sous la direction d’El Mouhoub Mouhoud

This thesis examines the role of firms ́heterogeneity in the Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) strategies. We already know firms’heterogeneity to sharply distinguish between domestic firms, exporters and multinationals (MNEs). Yet, to what extent it impacts their foreign direct investments (FDIs) strategies among MNEs is rarely evoked, while several entry mode choices and FDI motives coexist. Mixing both theoretical and empirical innovating approaches using French firm-level data, the four chapters of this PhD dissertation reveal that the firm heterogeneity influences all of the three dimensions of strategies we review: foreign ownership mode, FDI motive and structure of the overall network of affiliates. Specifically, firm-level productivity and international experience foster deeper integration with a changing relative importance according to the host country. They are also associated with production motives and vertical integration into the global value chains. The more productive firms also display original affiliates’ network structure. These findings allow a better understanding of multinationals’ choices underneath the « complex’’ global picture of FDI flows.


Keywords : Foreign Direct Investments; Multinational firms; Heterogeneous firms; Entry Mode Choice; Location Choice;  Network analysis.