In this paper we make the distinction between single-product and multi-product firms to contribute to our understanding of the complex relationship between multinational enterprises (MNEs), exporting and economic development. Using firm-level data for Thailand we show that the number of goods produced causes a larger variation in exports volumes than production volumes. Whilst the number of products and the total volume of exports are positively correlated we find, in contrast to US studies, a negative correlation between the number of products produced and the volume of production per product. We then investigate the characteristics associated with multi-product firms and find a distinction between foreign-owned and domestic firms. The presence of foreign firms producing single products solely for the domestic market as well as those producing many products for export demonstrates the diversity of behaviour of foreign-owned firms in developing countries.
- Firm characteristics