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Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?

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  • Beata Smarzynska Javorcik

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  • Mariana Spatareanu

Abstract

The authors take a new look at the regulatory determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) by asking whether labor market flexibility affects FDI flows across 25 Western and Eastern European countries. Their analysis is based on firm level data on new investments during the 1999-2001 period. The authors employ a variety of labor market flexibility measures that capture different aspects of labor laws along with a comprehensive set of controls for business climate characteristics. Indices of labor market regulations reflect the flexibility of individual and collective dismissals, the length of the notice period, and the required severance payment. The results suggest that greater flexibility in the host country's labor market relative to that in the investor's home country is associated with larger FDI inflows, and this effect is found to be stronger in the case of transition economies. The findings indicate that as the labor market flexibility in the host country increases from inflexible (for example, Slovakia) to flexible (for example, Hungary), the volume of investment increases by between 14 and 18 percent. FDI in service sectors appears to be more affected than investments in manufacturing.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10290-005-0035-7
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 141 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 375-403

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:141:y:2005:i:3:p:375-403

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Related research

Keywords: Foreign direct investment; labor market regulation; firm level data;

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References

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  1. Beata K. Smarzynska & Shang-Jin Wei, 2001. "Pollution Havens and Foreign Direct Investment: Dirty Secret or Popular Myth?," NBER Working Papers 8465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1996. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," IFS Working Papers W96/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. James R. Hines Jr., 1997. "Altered States: Taxes and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in America," NBER Working Papers 4397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jan I. Haaland & Ian Wooton & Giulia Faggio, 2002. "Multinational Firms: Easy Come, Easy Go?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(1), pages 3-, February.
  6. Wolfgang Keller & Arik Levinson, 2002. "Pollution Abatement Costs and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 691-703, November.
  7. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  8. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Local Corruption and Global Capital Flows," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 303-354.
  9. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  10. Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 1999. "Composition of Foreign Direct Investment and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Transition Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2228, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Coughlin, Cletus C & Terza, Joseph V & Arromdee, Vachira, 1991. "State Characteristics and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment within the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 675-83, November.
  12. Wheeler, David & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "International investment location decisions : The case of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 57-76, August.
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