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How much does home country matter to corporate profitability&quest

Anita M McGahan and Rogerio Victer
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Anita M McGahan: Rotman School, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Rogerio Victer: Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, USA

Journal of International Business Studies, 2010, vol. 41, issue 1, 142-165

Abstract: This paper provides researchers in the fields of international business and strategic management with information on the relative importance of home-country, industry, and firm influences on corporate profitability for firms with varying degrees of multinationality. The analysis relies principally on the Compustat Global reports for 1993–2003. The findings demonstrate that home-country and industry effects are more important to domestic firms than to multinationals. However, home-country influences are important even for firms with high degrees of multinationality. The evidence suggests that multinationals profit from industry-grounded opportunities to distribute activities across the countries in which they operate, but there are tradeoffs associated with internationalization. Multinationals may suffer from less protection afforded by the home-country environment and greater industry-level competition, but gain a broader scope for deploying idiosyncratic, firm-specific advantages through mechanisms enhanced by home-country experience. We conclude that industry effects in single-country studies should be interpreted carefully as influenced by the home countries of the multinational firms that are under study.

Date: 2010
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