It pays to go global. A new Conference Board study of 1,250 American manufacturing companies from 1987 to 1991 finds that multinationals of all sizes and in all industries outperformed their strictly domestic U.S. counterparts--growing more than twice as fast in sales and earning significantly higher returns on equity and assets.
The multinationals' employment record is another story, however. Recent research by Harvard University economist Robert Z. Lawrence indicates that
domestic manufacturing employment shrank more among U.S. multinationals between 1977 and 1989 than in the overall manufacturing sector. But it's also striking, says Lawrence, that these multinationals reduced their job rolls overseas at about the same rate as they did at home.