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Hwang S.,Korea Economic Research Institute | Lee S.,Korea Institute for International Economic Policy
Journal of International Trade and Economic Development | Year: 2015

This paper analyzes the effects of regional economic integrations on investment patterns among multinational firms. We develop a model in which heterogeneous firms decide on the optimal foreign direct investment (FDI) strategies for serving trade-integrated regions consisting of asymmetric countries: developed and developing nations. Following reduced trade costs within the trade-integrated region, our model shows that integrating into a regional economic zone affects firms with relatively low productivity levels to enter developing nation within the region via complex FDI – a firm activity of engaging in multiple types of FDI. Specifically, we show that depending on the size of the region respective to the home country, complex FDI involves different investment patterns. Using Korean firm- and plant-level data, we specify a binary choice model to link firms’ choice of FDI strategies with their productivity levels and trade-integrated regions. Our empirical results are consistent with the theoretical implications. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Woo K.,Korea Economic Research Institute | Cho J.,Sungkyunkwan University
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2016

We select a Korean case with ample subcontracting practices and a rigid wage system. Workplaces with subcontract transactions would have reason to impute the additional wage incremental costs associated with the seniority-based wage system (Hobong in Korea) to subcontractors. Our empirical results identify the cost-transferring mechanism under which the cost of wage rigidity for contractors is transferred to subcontracting firms and aggravates the wage inequality among workers in contracting and subcontracting firms. We analyze the industrial difference in the intensity of this transferring mechanism and probe policy directions considering the improvement of both the subcontracting structure and pay system simultaneously. For the sustainability of firms, they need to reform a seniority-based wage system, an incentive-based wage system or a job-based wage system and the exploited subcontracting structure for creating share value. © 2016 by the authors.

Choi N.,Korea Economic Research Institute
Journal of International Trade and Economic Development | Year: 2015

This paper empirically investigates how cross-country differences in the quality of human capital, as they are captured by the conventional measures of international test score differences, influences the patterns of foreign direct investment. Using panel data covering 32 countries during the period between 1985 and 2004, this paper finds that a host country's quality of educational attainment plays an independent role in attracting foreign direct investment. In particular, the quality of human capital influences horizontal foreign direct investment, even after accounting for the roles of skill and factor endowments, trade costs, investment costs, and country-size and income effects. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Cho G.L.,Korea Economic Research Institute | Kim H.-S.,Korea Gas Corporation | Kim Y.D.,Pusan National University
Resources Policy | Year: 2010

This paper investigates how Korean industry would respond to four different allocation and banking options in CO2 permit trading within a fully dynamic computational general equilibrium framework. Four different allocations are categorized-a uniform allocation and three performance-based allocations. We explore that performance-based allocation and banking lower losses in Korean potential GDP, allowing energy-intensive industry more flexibility in inter-temporal decision making on purchasing and selling permits. The steel industry can derive a particular advantage from a performance-based allocation with respect to energy use, while the semiconductor industry would prefer a performance-based allocation with respect to value-added. The two key conclusions are (i) the Korean economy should replace an absolute allocation with a performance-based allocation, and (ii) the banking of permits enables market players to reallocate allowances more efficiently in a long-term commitment period. These results support the findings of the key study by Kling and Rubin (1997). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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