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The Geography of NGO Activism against Multinational Corporations

Sophie Hatte and Pamina Koenig
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Sophie Hatte: UNIL - Université de Lausanne

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Abstract: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) regularly denounce the behavior of multinational corporations throughout the world, however their motivations for choosing the targets of their campaigns remain largely unknown. Using a new and rich dataset listing activists' campaigns towards multinational firms, we reveal important regularities in the geography and internationalization of advocacy NGOs activity. For example, 49\% of US NGOs select a foreign target firm, however, 75\% of campaigns targeting foreign firms involve an action taking place in the country of the NGO. We build on these facts to analyze the country-level determinants of NGOs campaigns, and estimate a triadic gravity equation for campaigns, involving the NGO, firm and action countries. Our variables of interest are the bilateral links between the country pairs, measuring how well the audience of the NGO identifies to the target of the campaign. Our results reveal a campaigning bias towards home firms and firms originating from familiar countries.

Keywords: microeconomy of globalization; NGOs campaigns; multinational firms; gravity equation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme and nep-int
Date: 2017-05
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