Multinational Firms, Acquisitions, and Job Tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We revisit the question how inward FDI and multinational ownership affect relative labor demand. Motivated by the recent literature that distinguish between skills and tasks, we argue that the impact of multinational and foreign ownership on the demand for labor is better captured by focusing on job tasks rather than education. We use Swedish matched employer-employee data and find that changes of local firms to both foreign and Swedish multinationals increase the relative demand for non-routine and interactive job tasks in the targeted local firms. Hence, in a high-income country, both inward and outward FDI have a task upgrading impact on local firms. The effect is primarily driven by wage effects leading to increased wage dispersion for workers with different non-routine and interactive task intensity. We also show that the effect is not the same as skill upgrading since dividing employees by educational attainment does not capture changes in the relative labor demand. Hence, our results suggest a new aspect of the labor market consequences of FDI.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics


  • Job Tasks, Labor Demand, Skill Groups, Multinational Firms, Foreign Ownership, Cross-Border Acquisitions, FDI
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-265
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch