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Spoilt for Choice? Multinational Corporations and the Geography of International Production

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  • Kozul-Wright, Richard
  • Rowthorn, Robert
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    Abstract

    This paper questions the view that foreign direct investment (FDI) is producing an integrated world production and trading system. Although multinational firms have a greater choice of locations than in the past, their recent investments abroad have taken place within a regional, rather than global, framework. The upsurge of FDI flows from North to South has been attracted by just a handful of fast-growing developing countries. The paper disputes the claim that the road to development is for poor countries to attract FDI on the scale observed in such countries as Malaysia. This claim involves a fallacy of composition. While FDI can make a valuable contribution, most countries will have to rely mainly on their own resources and indigenous producers. The paper argues that current proposals for a Multilateral Agreement on Investment neglect both the regional aspects of integration and the need of poorer countries to promote their domestic supply capabilities. Conflicts of interest which are ignored in the current rhetoric suggest the continuing relevance of a strategic policy approach to international production. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

    Volume (Year): 14 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
    Pages: 74-92

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:14:y:1998:i:2:p:74-92

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    Web page: http://oxrep.oupjournals.org/

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    Cited by:
    1. Dunning, John H., 2004. "The contribution of British scholarship to international business studies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 257-279, April.
    2. Richard Mash, 2000. "Host Country-Foreign Investor Bargaining Power and Investment Incentive Provisions in Multilateral Investment Agreements," Economics Series Working Papers 47, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Ben Ferrett & Ian Wooton, 2010. "Competing for a duopoly: international trade and tax competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 776-794, August.
    4. Éltető, Andrea, 2000. "Az Európai Unióval folytatott magyar és spanyol feldolgozóipari kereskedelem szerkezete
      [The structure of Hungarian and Spanish manufacturing trade with the European Union]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 275-289.
    5. Ferrett, Ben & Wooton, Ian, 2006. "Tax Competition and the International Distribution of Firm Ownership: An Invariance Result," CEPR Discussion Papers 5984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Cook, Gary A.S. & Pandit, Naresh R. & Lööf, Hans & Johansson, Börje, 2012. "Geographic clustering and outward foreign direct investment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1112-1121.

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