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Foreign direct investment and agglomeration: evidence from Italy

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  • Raffaello Bronzini

    ()
    (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

A number of empirical studies have analyzed the effect of agglomeration on multinational investment, verifying whether the agglomerated areas attract foreign direct investment inflows. Despite the large number of papers, no systematic attempt has been made to disentangle whether FDI are attracted by the concentration of firms within the same sector (specialization) or within different sectors (diversity). Furthermore, the question whether firm size in the host area influences multinational investment is still unanswered. This paper provides empirical evidence of the role of agglomeration economies in attracting foreign direct investments within Italian regions and provinces, distinguishing between specialization and diversity, and of the role of firm size in foreign investorsÂ’ choices. We employ a new territorial data set on foreign direct investment collected by the Italian Foreign Exchange Office for industrial and service sectors. We find strong evidence that specialized geographical areas attract FDI, whereas diversified areas do so only for industrial sectors; finally, there is little evidence that firm size has an impact on FDI since, if anything, only big firms in southern regions appear to have a positive effect on foreign investorsÂ’ decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 526.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_526_04

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Keywords: foreign direct investment; agglomeration economies; regional economics;

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  1. Sergio Mariotti & Lucia Piscitello, 1995. "Information Costs and Location of FDIs within the Host Country: Empirical Evidence from Italy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(4), pages 815-841, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Antonietti & Giulio Cainelli, 2007. "Spatial Agglomeration, Technology and Outsourcing of Knowledge Intensive Business Services Empirical Insights from Italy," Working Papers 2007.79, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Chen, George Shih-Ku, 2009. "Agglomeration economies and the location of Taiwanese investment in China," MPRA Paper 13896, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Roberto Basile & Luigi Benfratello & Davide Castellani, 2005. "Attracting Foreign Direct Investments in Europe: are Italian Regions Doomed?," Development Working Papers 200, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Roberto Basile & Luigi Benfratello & Davide Castellani, 2005. "Attracting Foreign Investments in Europe - are Italian Regions Doomed?," ERSA conference papers ersa05p148, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Giulio Cainelli & Eleonora Di Maria & Roberto Ganau, 2011. "Agglomeration, related-variety and internationalisation. Does a relationship exist?," Openloc Working Papers 1114, Public policies and local development.

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