Domestic vs foreign plants: Does this distinction really matter?
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A wide literature analyzes motivations, forms and evolutionary paths of foreign investments in manufacturing. A research stream deals with the configurations of foreign manufacturing subsidiaries, identifying their “distinct specialties”. The theoretical perspectives of these contributions are quite various, anyway many of them assume that the configuration choices of international and domestic manufacturing bases are different or, in other words, that the distinction between domestic and foreign plants may be significant. This paper aims at testing this assumption through data of the international research project HPM. The study identifies some profiles in the two subsamples (domestic and foreign plants) and compares them in a number of (infra)structural characteristics. The analysis shows that the current debate tends to overstate this distinction.