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Philipp Harms

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Philipp Harms is a Professor of International Economics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. His research interests are in international economics, macroeconomics, and political economy. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
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publication
Like it or not? How the economic and institutional environment shapes individual attitudes towards multinational enterprises

This paper analyses the determinants of people's attitudes towards foreign direct investment (FDI) using a survey‐based data set that covers a wide range of rich and poor countries. We find that both individual socioeconomic characteristics and macroeconomic and institutional factors shape agents’ attitudes towards multinational firms. Moreover, we find that the influence of an individual's characteristics—such as education and the status as an entrepreneur—on her/his perspective on multinationals depends on the respective country's per‐capita income. Our results confirm the conjecture that relative individual attitudes towards multinationals reflect distributional interests as suggested by economic theory.

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publication
Good and useless FDI: The growth effects of greenfield investment and mergers and acquisitions

We explore the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth, distinguishing between mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and “greenfield” investment. A simple model underlines that, unlike greenfield investment, M&As partly represent a rent accruing to previous owners, and do not necessarily contribute to expanding the host country's capital stock. Greenfield FDI should therefore have a stronger impact on growth than M&A sales. This hypothesis is supported by our empirical results that are based on a panel of up to 127 industrialized, emerging, and developing countries over 1990 to 2010.

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publication
Offshoring along the production chain

In this paper, we analyze the offshoring decision of firms whose production process is characterized by a particular sequence of steps. International cost differences vary non‐monotonically along the production chain, and moving unfinished goods across borders incurs transport costs. We show that, in such a setting, firms may refrain from offshoring even if relocating individual steps would be advantageous in terms of offshoring costs, or they may offshore (almost) the entire production chain to save transport costs. Small variations in model parameters may thus have a substantial impact on offshoring activities.

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