Working Paper No. 201

The International Firm: A Vehicle for Overcoming Barriers to Trade and a Global Intelligence Organization Diffusing the Notion of a Nation


The multinational firm (MNF) is introduced as the intersection between trade theory and the theory of the firm. I show that economies of scale associated with various knowledge inputs have made it possible for firms to grow large through internationalization and, once large, staying competitive and large. Internationalization is a technique of both overcoming barriers to trade, and of efficient learning to stay competitive.

International firms are increasingly becoming large and highly mobile carriers of industrial knowledge embodied in teams of humans. With barriers to trade and factor movements further reduced in Europe the first reason for globalization will decrease for firms located inside the internal market, but intensified technological competition will make the second factor increasingly important, constantly shifting the intelligence locus of the business organization to the markets where the most advanced industrial knowledge is being exhibited in competition. Europe will become such a locus of competition and competence allocation to the extent "it" lives up to its ambition to deregulate markets, and especially the markets for ownership and control. In general global markets are seen as a vast source of business opportunities and the firm as a local source of competence to exploit the opportunities.
 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

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