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What Determines BITs?

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  • Jeffrey H. Bergstrand
  • Peter Egger

Abstract

Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have proliferated over the past 50 years such that the number of pairs of countries with BITs is roughly as large as the number of country-pairs that belong to bilateral or regional preferential trade agreements (PTAs). The purpose of this study is to provide the first systematic empirical analysis of the economic determinants of BITs and of the likelihood of BITs between pairs of countries using a qualitative choice model, and in a manner consistent with explaining PTAs. We develop the econometric specification for explaining the two based upon a general equilibrium model of world trade and foreign direct investment with three factors, two products, and explicit natural as well as policy trade and investment costs among multiple countries in the presence of national and multinational firms. The empirical model for BITs and PTAs is bivariate in nature and supports a set of hypotheses drawn from the general equilibrium model. Using the preferred empirical model, we correctly predict approximately 85 (75) percent of all BITs (PTAs) correctly, relative to an unconditional probability of only 11 (16) percent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3514.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3514

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Keywords: bilateral investment treaties; foreign direct investment; multinational firms; free trade agreements; international trade;

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Cited by:
  1. Lauge N. Skovgaard Poulsen & Emma Aisbett, 2013. "When the claim hits: bilateral investment treaties and bounded rational learning," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 45035, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Paniagua, Jordi & Sapena, Juan, 2014. "Is FDI doing good? A golden rule for FDI ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 807-812.
  3. Dorn, Sabrina & Egger, Peter, 2012. "On the Distribution of Exchange Rate Regime Treatment Effects on International Trade," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62054, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Eric Neumayer & Peter Nunnenkamp & Martin Roy, 2014. "Are Stricter Investment Rules Contagious? Host Country Competition for Foreign Direct Investment through International Agreements," Kiel Working Papers 1910, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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