Clear insights on the role and activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) are central to understanding global value chains (GVCs), the strong growth of which has dramatically challenged existing economic insights and policy implications related to globalisation.
The challenge of collecting empirical evidence on MNEs has meant we have not always had the full picture of key issues in trade and industrial policy such as the role of MNEs in GVCs and how firms combine trade and investment in their cross-border activities. A better understanding of MNEs would allow for more informed debates about the role of these companies in the economy and in society more broadly.
To address the data deficit, the OECD has developed a new and comprehensive database on MNE activities across countries and industries. By linking to TiVA and the OECD Inter-country Inter-Industry Input-Output (ICIO) database, the Analytical Activities of MNEs (AMNE) database for the first time allows for the analysis of MNE activities in value-added terms.
This new database distinguishes between three types of firms: foreign affiliates (firms with at least 50% foreign ownership), domestic MNEs (domestic firms with foreign affiliates) and domestic firms not involved in international investment. To understand the breakdown of firm types we can take the Japanese automotive industry as an example. From the perspective of Japan, a majority Japanese-owned car manufacturer with affiliates in other countries would be classified as a domestic MNE; the majority owned affiliate of a French car manufacturer in Japan would be a foreign affiliate; and a majority Japanese-owned parts supplier with no foreign affiliates would fall into the category of domestic firms not involved in international investment.
The new database allows for detailed analysis of a broad range of important policy issues, including:
The Analytical AMNE database includes a full matrix of the output of foreign affiliates in 59 countries plus the rest of the world (in the host country, industry, parent country dimension), as well as matrices for value-added, exports and imports of intermediate inputs (host country and industry) over the period 2005-2016. A second set of matrices in the database provides information on output, value-added, exports and imports of intermediate inputs of domestic MNEs and non-MNE domestic firms (from 2008 onwards). In addition, split Inter-Country Input-Output tables are provided distinguishing for all countries the transactions of domestic-owned and foreign-owned firms. The database was constructed on the basis of the OECD AMNE database which contains the official data on AMNE collected and published by national statistical offices (32 OECD countries plus Costa Rica and Lithuania, over 50 industries, since 1985). In order to estimate the missing information across countries and industries, additional national sources have been used and various statistical methodologies applied. It is important to note that analytical papers up to mid-2019 were based on a previous version of the database.
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Questions and comments are invited and may be sent to analyticalAMNE@oecd.org.