Multinational Firms in the U.S. Economy: Insights from Newly Integrated Microdata (PDF)

This paper describes the construction of two confidential crosswalk files enabling a comprehensive identification of multinational firms in the U.S. economy. The effort combines firm-level surveys on direct investment conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Register (BR) spanning the universe of employer businesses from 1997 to 2017. First, the parent crosswalk links BEA firm-level surveys on U.S. direct investment abroad and the BR. Second, the affiliate crosswalk links BEA firm-level surveys on foreign direct investment in the United States and the BR. Using these newly available links, we distinguish between U.S.- and foreign-owned multinational firms and describe their prevalence and economic activities in the national economy, by sector, and by geography.


Fariha Kamal , Jessica McCloskey , and Wei Ouyang

JEL Code(s) F14 F23 Published