Multinationals, International Business and Poverty: A Cross-Disciplinary Research Overview and Conceptual Framework
Journal of International Business Policy, 1(1), 2018, doi: 10.1057/s42214-018-0004-1
Posted: 4 May 2018
Date Written: April 17, 2018
This paper examines the role of multinationals and international business in poverty alleviation, based on an analysis of articles in the top journals in business, economics, and policy. We develop a conceptual cross-disciplinary framework that maps and disentangles the impact of different types of international business activities on five dimensions of poverty, moderated by country and industry effects. While our study suggests that the impact of all the types of business activities on poverty is still unclear overall, we contribute to research and policy debates by identifying key insights from and main gaps in this cross-disciplinary stream of literature. A distinction is made between firm effects as part of both ‘mainstream’ and ‘responsible’ globalization, and firm-specific activities with and without the explicit goal of poverty alleviation, considering investment and trade. We propose areas for further research based on the framework, including the importance of interaction effects and contextual factors.
Keywords: Economic Development – Foreign Direct Investment; Global Value Chains; Base of the Pyramid; Fair Trade; Poverty Alleviation; Poverty, Multinationals; Multinational Enterprises; International Business
JEL Classification: E02, E61, F13, F14, F24, F61, F62, F63, F66, F68, I32, M14, M16, O11, O12, O17, O19, O24
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