Measuring the Foreign Activities of Multinational Enterprises: The Country-Specific Mismatch between Foreign Direct Investment Data and Actual Economic Activity


Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, Nijmegen School of Management

To measure multinational (MNE) activity at the macro level, many scholars use FDI data. As FDI data are based on capital flows between home and host countries, a mismatch may exist between the reported and actual MNE activity. Comparing operational sales and value added data with FDI data of US MNEs, we find that in order to properly interpret FDI data a country-specific correction is required. This correction is related to the type, quality and structure of the host country’s financial market. The implication of this finding is that sample, research question and the FDI data measure are interrelated, having a number of consequences for some key debates in international business.



Keywords: Foreign direct investment, multinationals, mismatch, measuremen


About the speaker
Sjoerd Beugelsdijk is an associate professor of economics at the Nijmegen School of Management, the Netherlands. His main interest is in the field of institutional economics and comparative economic organization theory. He received his Phd from Tilburg University in 2003. During 2004, he visited the Copenhagen Business School, the European University Insitute in Florence, and Case Western reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He received in 2006 a three year research grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. His research concentrates on three three related dimensions: 1. Culture, institutions and economic performance; 2. Institutions and the geography of the multinational firm; 3. Innovation, social capital and institutions

Venue: Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 04 October 2007

Time: 16:00


UNU-MERIT