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Embedding the multinationals? Institutions and the development of overseas manufacturing affiliates in Wales and North East England

Book or journal references : Regional Studies, vol. 37, pp. 27-40 (2003).

Author(s) : Phelps , N. A. and Mackinnon , D. and Stone , I. and Braidford , P.

Abstract :

The impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) upon host regions is a topic of perennial interest within the fields of regional economics, industrial geography and regional development. Much of the early literature here draws negative conclusions regarding the wider indirect impacts of FDI on host regions, pointing to the branch plant syndrome. In light of significant processes of corporate restructuring and the build-up of host region institutional capacities, however, recent literature has claimed that the plants of multinational enterprises (MNEs) are becoming increasingly 'embedded' in regional economies. Against this backdrop, this paper aims to provide a critical assessment of the regional 'embeddedness' of FDI in Wales and the North East of England. Based upon an extensive survey of overseas-owned manufacturing affiliates in these regions, the paper examines key indicators of MNE embeddedness, and assesses the influence of regional agencies on the embedding process. In general, we find little evidence of increasing embeddedness while the effects of regional differences in institutional capacity on the embedding process appear to be somewhat limited. As such, we suggest that the idea of 'extended enclaves' encapsulates some key dimensions of the relationships between MNEs and the economies of peripheral UK regions.

Keywords :

foreign direct investment; embeddedness; regions; institutions; enclaves; linkages REGIONAL-DEVELOPMENT; INWARD INVESTMENT; SILICON GLEN; POLICY; GLOBALIZATION; INNOVATION; SCOTLAND; PLANTS; FIRMS; LABOR

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