Decisions to access foreign markets via foreign direct investment (FDI) are examined using firm-level characteristics in the food manufacturing industry. We also assess variations in the intensity of FDI by parent companies in a variety of countries. We find that capital-intensive firms with higher levels of intangible assets (brand names and reputation), profitability, and knowledge capital are more likely to become multinational enterprises (MNEs). The findings also suggest that intangible assets and knowledge capital underlie the tendency of MNEs to invest more intensively abroad. Larger firm size plays an important, but not a dominant, role in predicting increased FDI activity in the food manufacturing industry.


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