Multinational Enterprises, Foreign Direct Investment and Trade in China: The Chain of Causality in 1980-2003

Jianhong Zhang, Jan P.a.m. Jacobs, Arjen Van Witteloostuijn

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a dominant role in the international business (IB) literature. Traditionally, by far the majority of IB studies deal with issues at the micro level of the individual MNE, or at the meso level of a sample of individual MNEs in industries. This paper focuses on the impact of MNE behavior through foreign direct investment (FDI) on a country's international trade, and vice versa. In so doing, this study responds to a recent plea for more macro-level studies in IB into the effect of MNE behavior on the macroeconomic performance of countries as a whole, particularly developing and emerging economies. In the current study, we focus on the largest developing or emerging economy of all: China. Applying sophisticated econometric techniques, we unravel the causality and direction of FDI-trade linkages for the Chinese economy in the 1980-2003 period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Asia Business Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • FDI
  • Trade and causality

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