Transnational Corporations

This journal takes a fresh look at major legal, sectorial, regional and environmental issues facing corporations operating internationally. Released three times a year, it provides in-depth policy-oriented research findings on significant issues relating to the activities of transnational corporations.


UNCTAD Insights: Assessing the impact of foreign ownership on firm performance by size: Evidence from firms in developed and developing countries

Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are frequently credited with a wide range of benefits for recipient economies. This research investigates the impact mechanics of FDI by mapping the extent to which firms are owned by foreigners against their performance. Firms in both developed and developing countries are included in the study and the performance indicators used are growth in sales, employment and labour productivity. Based on data from more than 80,000 firms during the period 2010 to 2019, this research is unique because it compares the performance of foreign-owned and domestic firms of different sizes. While the preliminary results show foreign ownership overall does give firms an edge on performance, there is no consistent evidence that this is so by firm size. However, across all developing regions, the study consistently finds that foreign ownership has a positive impact on the sales and productivity growth of micro-size firms. This calls for more research on and policy experimentation with outward-oriented and innovative start-ups.


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