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Foreign direct investment and employment in the industrial countries

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  • Palle S. Andersen
  • P. Hainaut
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    Abstract

    Since the trough in 1982, the growth of real foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows and inflows for the OECD countries has been very high, far outpacing that of foreign trade and real GDP. While such flows are likely to have increased the efficiency with which global capital is being used, they have also led to concerns that outflows from the industrial countries serve as an instrument for exporting jobs to low-wage countries. The purpose of this paper is to look for evidence regarding the precise relationship between FDI outflows and employment in the source countries. The empirical evidence mostly relies on estimated relationships between FDI flows and various components of demand but is derived from time-series analyses for individual countries as well as from panel regressions. All in all, we find only limited evidence that FDI outflows lead to job losses in the source countries. While it is true that domestic investment tends to decline in response to FDI outflows, emerging market economies receive only a small, albeit growing, share of global outflows. It also appears that high labour costs encourage outflows and that exchange rate movements may exacerbate such effects. However, the principal determinants of FDI flows are prior trade patterns, IT-related investments and the scope for cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Moreover, there is clear evidence that, by improving distribution and sales channels, FDI outflows complement rather than substitute for exports and thus help protect rather than destroy jobs in the source countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 61.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:61

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    1. repec:fth:iniesr:490 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Linda S. Goldberg & Michael Klein, 1996. "Foreign direct investment, trade, and real exchange rate linkages in developing countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 73-100.
    3. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1984. "Foreign Production and Exports of Individual Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 304-08, May.
    4. Robert E. Lipsey & Guy V.G. Stevens, 1988. "Interactions between Domestic and Foreign Investment," NBER Working Papers 2714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Magnus Blomstrom & Robert E. Lipsey & Ksenia Kulchycky, 1987. "U.S. and Swedish Direct Investment and Exports," NBER Working Papers 2390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1995. "Multinational Corporations, Outsourcing, and American Wage Divergence," NBER Working Papers 5253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Blomström, Magnus & Fors, Gunnar & Lipsey, Robert E., 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: Home Country Experience in the United States and Sweden," Working Paper Series 490, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Roger Svensson, 1996. "Effects of overseas production on home country exports: Evidence based on Swedish multinationals," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 304-329, September.
    9. Martin S. Feldstein, 1995. "The Effects of Outbound Foreign Direct Investment on the Domestic Capital Stock," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 43-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Robert E. Lipsey, 1994. "Outward Direct Investment and the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 4691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. S. Lael Brainard & David A. Riker, 1997. "Are U.S. Multinationals Exporting U.S. Jobs?," NBER Working Papers 5958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Rosanne Altshuler & Harry Grubert & T. Scott Newlon, 1998. "Has U.S. Investment Abroad Become More Sensitive to Tax Rates?," NBER Working Papers 6383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1981. "Foreign Production and Exports in Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 488-94, November.
    14. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "The Effect of Multinational Firms' Operations on Their Domestic Employment," NBER Working Papers 2760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. David A. Riker & S. Lael Brainard, 1997. "U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries," NBER Working Papers 5959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fred Henneberger & Alexandre Ziegler, 2003. "Aussenhandel und Auslandsproduktion im Dienstleistungssektor: Theorie und Empirie der Beschäftigungseffekte für die schweizerische Tourismusbranche," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(IV), pages 535-561, December.
    2. Pradhan, Jaya Prakash, 2007. "Growth of Indian Multinationals in the World Economy: Implications for Development," MPRA Paper 12360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Henneberger, Fred & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2001. "Internationalisierung der Dienstleistungserstellung : Konsequenzen für den schweizerischen Arbeitsmarkt," HWWA Discussion Papers 149, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    4. Maria Birsan & Anuţa Buiga, 2009. "FDI Determinants: Case of Romania," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 726-736, February.
    5. Everett, Mary, 2006. "Foreign Direct Investment - An Analysis of its Significance," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 93-112, October.
    6. Christian Bellak & Wilfried Altzinger, 1999. "Direct Versus Indirect FDI: Impact On Domestic Exports And Employment," Working Papers geewp09, Vienna University of Economics Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.

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