We develop a theory of a multinational corporation’s optimal mode of entry in a new market. The foreign firm can choose between a licensing agreement, a wholly owned subsidiary or shared control (joint venture). In an environment in which property rights are insecure, opportunism is possible, and the identification of new business opportunities is costly, we show that the relationship between the quality of the institutional environment and the mode of entry decision is non-monotonic. Licensing is preferred if property rights are strictly enforced, while a joint venture is chosen when property rights are poorly enforced. For intermediate situations, the better use of local knowledge made possible by shared control under a joint venture works as a double edged sword. On the one hand, it makes the monitoring activity of the multinational more credible, on the other it offers insurance to both parties, potentially compromising the incentives faced by the local partner.

joint ventures, mode of entry decision, multinational corporations
Multinational Firms; International Business (jel F23), Contracting Out; Joint Ventures; Technology licensing (jel L24)
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00199-007-0323-, hdl.handle.net/1765/19981
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Economic Theory
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Che, J, & Facchini, G. (2009). Cultural differences, insecure property rights and the mode of entry decision. Economic Theory, 38(3), 465–484. doi:10.1007/s00199-007-0323-