8:15 am EST - 4:15 pm EST

Past Event

Multinational corporations in a changing global economy: Opportunities and challenges for workers, firms, communities and governments

Thursday, December 19, 2019

8:15 am - 4:15 pm EST

Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC

As policymakers in the United States consider strategies to stimulate economic growth, bolster employment and wages, reduce inequality, and stabilize federal government finances, many express concerns about the role of US multinational corporations and globalization more generally.  Despite a significant body of work, the research community cannot yet fully explain and coherently articulate the roles that multinational corporations play in the outcomes that policymakers care about most: growth, jobs, inequality and tax revenue.  In many respects, multinationals present persistent mysteries.  Is their multinational nature a key driver of their profits?  With their sprawling networks of trade and investment, do US and European multinationals add to home country employment or subtract from it?  To what extent does tax avoidance drive corporate behavior and thereby pose challenges to government finances?  Does it matter where companies locate their R&D?  Do multinationals have financial advantages over single-country companies?  How do multinationals influence foreign policy?  How will the rise of the digital economy and the digital trade in services affect multinationals?

In response to these questions, Fritz Foley of Harvard Business School, Jim Hines of University of Michigan, and David Wessel of the Hutchins Center at Brookings are editing a volume, Multinational Corporations in a Changing Global Economy that will include papers by prominent academics on a wide range of topics, including jobs (in home country and abroad), R&D, finance, tax, and foreign policy. In a sense, this is a sequel to a 1978 Brookings Press book, American Multinationals and American Interests (Bergsten, Horst, Moran, eds.). The authors will present drafts of their papers at this conference at Brookings on Thursday, December 19.

*This event is by invitation only. Draft papers are available for download below.