Emerging Market Multinational Companies and Internationalization: The Role of Home Country Urbanization

Saul Estrin, Bo B. Nielsen*, Sabina Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We develop a multilevel theoretical framework for investigating the role of home country urbanization for emerging market multinational companies' (EMNCs) international expansion. We propose that more urbanized home environments directly increase EMNC's proclivity to internationalize and moderate the effects of firm intangible and tangible resources. The empirical counterpart studies 592 EMNCs from 18 different countries in 2010 and an unbalanced panel of a subsample of these firms over the period 2006-2010. Our hypotheses are confirmed in both datasets. We find that while urbanization complements firm financial resources when expanding abroad, it appears to substitute to some extent for internal R&D capabilities. Our findings further our understanding of the drivers of internationalization of EMNCs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)326-339
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Emerging market multinationals
  • Internationalization
  • Home country effects
  • Urbanization
  • Financial strength
  • Cross-classified
  • Multilevel modeling

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