The Internal Markets of Multinational Firms

(w/ C. F. Foley and J. R. Hines Jr.) Survey of Current Business 87, no. 3 (March 2007), 42-48

The rising economic importance of multinational firms has been accompanied by significant changes in their structure and functioning. Multinational firms, historically characterized as webs of autonomous subsidiaries spread across countries, now represent globally integrated production systems serving worldwide customers. These changes are manifest in the rising significance of intrafirm trade and financial flows for these firms. While there is extensive analysis of aggregate patterns in intrafirm flows of goods and capital, few firm-based studies examine the workings of the internal markets of multinational firms, largely because of the difficulty in accessing the necessary data.