Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 86–107 | Cite as

The regional dimension of MNEs' foreign subsidiary localization

  • Jean-Luc ArregleEmail author
  • Paul W Beamish
  • Louis Hébert


This paper examines the regional effect of MNEs' foreign subsidiary localization. We hypothesize that the number of subsequent foreign subsidiaries in a country is in part determined by a firm's prior foreign subsidiary activity at the regional level. We test our hypotheses using data on 1076 Japanese MNEs that created 3466 foreign subsidiaries (1837 wholly owned FDIs and 1629 joint ventures) over the period 1996–2001. We use a multilevel negative binomial approach with three levels of analysis: localization decisions in a country (49 countries), in a region (six regions) and at the headquarters level. In this way, we test the regional effects controlling for country and corporate dimensions. We also run separate models to differentiate wholly owned and joint venture localization decisions. Our results strongly support the semi-globalization perspective in that the regional-level effects are significant and different from the country-level effects for all foreign subsidiaries, for wholly owned subsidiaries and for jointly owned subsidiaries. Japanese MNEs adopt a regional perspective that complements their decisions at the country and firm levels. They seek regional agglomeration benefits and make arbitrage decisions between countries in the same region.


semiglobalization regional strategy multilevel analysis evaluation of current theories localization of foreign subsidiaries 



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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Luc Arregle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul W Beamish
    • 2
  • Louis Hébert
    • 3
  1. 1.Edhec Business SchoolNiceFrance
  2. 2.Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.HEC MontrealQuebecCanada

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