Intra-firm Trade, Input-output Linkage, and Contractual Frictions: Evidence from Japanese Affiliate-level Data

Author Name MATSUURA Toshiyuki (Keio University) / ITO Banri (Research Associate, RIETI) / TOMIURA Eiichi (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2020 20-E-026
Research Project Empirical Analysis of Corporate Global Activities in the Digital Economy
Download / Links

First draft: March 2020
Revised: July 2020


This paper examines the impact of input-output linkages on intra-firm trade based on affiliate-level data of Japanese multinationals (MNEs). We find that MNE parents tend to trade relatively more with their affiliates in vertically linked sectors if they trade goods with low contractibility, especially with affiliates located in East Asia: the major developing-country destination for Japanese MNEs. This result indicates that input-output linkage is a significant determinant of intra-firm trade when the trade is affected by contractual frictions. We also confirm that intra-firm trade is observed only in a limited fraction of affiliates.