Transnational Corporations: Fragmentation Amidst Integration

By Grazia Ietto-Gillies | Go to book overview

7

Regulatory regimes in thetheories of international production

7.1Introduction

Chapter six presented a theory that stressed the relevance of 'regulatory regimes' for the explanation of TNCs' strategies and their activities. This chapter reviews the way in which some prevalent and influential theories of international production and the TNCs have dealt with differentials in regulatory regimes and their possible impact on the pattern and size of FDI. It deals specifically with the way - and the extent to which - these theories incorporate elements of what I have in this book (chapter six) referred to as 'regulatory regimes'. Thus the criterion for including specific theories and the focus on each of the theories dealt with here, is whether and how to deal with issues of 'regulatory regimes'.

The aim of the chapter is not to present a full literature review of theories of international production. For such a task the reader is referred to Buckley (1981), Ietto-Gillies (1992), John et al. (1997: ch. 5) and Cantwell (2000). Neither will the chapter deal with all the details and intricacies of the theories selected for presentation.

Before plunging into the theories it is worth noting that the various explanations may refer to different elements and concepts. Some authors attempt to explain the wider activities and entry modes of TNCs from exports to international production to licensing. This is indeed the case of Dunning's eclectic paradigm. Others concentrate on FDI and international production.

The chapter proceeds as follows. The next section deals with Hymer's theories while section 7.3 considers the internalisation and eclectic approaches. Aliber's theories are dealt with in section 7.4.


7.2The role of regulatory regimes and nation-states inHymer's theory

Following the large increase in international business activities in the post-World War II period which saw, in particular, a large outflow of foreign investment by US companies, questions began to be asked as to the reasons

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