Authors' Words

Internationalization of Modern Japanese Firms: Analyses of panel data

Co-author/editor's words (preface)

* This publication is in Japanese. An English translation is not available.

Book to Open a New Horizon in International Trade Theory

Since 2000, studies on international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) have developed from the national, industry, and goods levels to the level of firms, with considerable progress in both theoretical and empirical analysis. This resulted because firms, major players in international trade and FDI, have attracted attention for their heterogeneity in productivity levels and other various measures of firm performance. This book compiles the results of our theoretical and empirical studies focusing on the factors that have contributed to the internationalization of firms, which are heterogeneous in productivity levels. A key feature of our study, as in the recent studies conducted in Europe and the United States, is the revealing of the relationship between firm heterogeneity and internationalization based on large-scale panel data on Japanese firms. The Japanese firms that go abroad are highly productive and large in scale, like their European and U.S. counterparts. In addition, we reveal that industry characteristics, firm characteristics other than productivity such as knowledge of and experience in international markets, the scale and potential of destination markets, compatibility with local managers, and the status of legal systems such as conditions for making contracts also influence the internationalization of Japanese firms. This book reveals the impact of these factors through empirical analysis based on large-scale data as well as theoretical analysis. Furthermore, global trends and current problems in theoretical and empirical studies on firm heterogeneity and internationalization are reviewed. It would be the authors' greatest pleasure if this book could help readers analyze the increasingly globalized economy and open a new horizon in the study of international trade.