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Foreign direct investment and spillovers: gradualism may be better

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  • Klaus Desmet
  • Felipe Meza
  • Juan A. Rojas

Abstract

The standard argument says that in the presence of positive spillovers foreign direct investment should be promoted and subsidized. In contrast, this paper claims that the very existence of spillovers may require temporarily restricting FDI. Our argument is based on two features of spillovers: they are limited by the economy's absorptive capacity and they take time to materialize. By letting in capital more gradually, initial investment has the time to create spillovers - and upgrade the economy's absorptive capacity - before further investment occurs. The economy converges to a steady state with a superior technology and a greater capital stock.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 926-953

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:41:y:2008:i:3:p:926-953

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  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 715-741.
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  6. Keller, Wolfgang, 1996. "Absorptive capacity: On the creation and acquisition of technology in development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 199-227, April.
  7. Haaland, J.I. & Wooton, I., 1998. "International Competition for Multinational Investment," Papers 14/98, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
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  16. repec:imf:imfwpa:94/110 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 1998. "International technology transfer and the technology gap," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 369-398, April.
  18. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Harris, 2009. "Spillover and Backward Linkage Effects of FDI: Empirical Evidence for the UK," SERC Discussion Papers 0016, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. Wang, Chengqi & Deng, Ziliang & Kafouros, Mario I. & Chen, Yan, 2012. "Reconceptualizing the spillover effects of foreign direct investment: A process-dependent approach," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 452-464.

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