Multinationals old and new: the case of energy

Vol. 8 No. 1 (1988)

Jan-Mar / 1988
Published January 1, 1988
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Niosi, Jorge, and Philippe Faucher. 1998. “Multinationals Old and New: The Case of Energy”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 8 (1):93-104.

Multinationals old and new: the case of energy

Jorge Niosi
Universidade de Quebéc, em Montreal, Canadá.
Philippe Faucher
Universidade de Montreal, Canadá.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 8 No. 1 (1988), Jan-Mar / 1988, Pages 93-104


Present theories on multinational corporations (MNCs) and technology transfer
have achieved several! major breakthroughs. They are schematically summarized in this
work as the “established theoretical synthesis”, resulting from the contribution of three
major theoretical currents: the product cycle, the industrial organization and the theory
of foreign direct investment based on comparative advantages. This paper challenges the
assumptions of this synthesis: according to the author, it is but a raw conceptual mix of
theoretical generalizations based only on the manufacturing sector of American and British
MNCs. As an alternative, the author compares that synthesis with evidence coming from
one of the most active sectors in the North-South technology transfer: the energy industry.
The comparison will allow to shed some light on the limits of the theoretical model when
applied to a non-manufacturing industry, and to the relationship between developing and
developed countries.

JEL Classification: L22; L94.

Keywords: Multinational electric sector