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Fixed Costs and FDI: The Conflicting Effects of Productivity Shocks

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  • Razin, Assaf
  • Rubinstein, Yona
  • Sadka, Efraim

Abstract

The Paper develops a model with lumpy setup costs of new investment, which govern the flows of FDI. Foreign investment decisions are two-fold: whether to export FDI and, if so, how much. The first decision is governed by total profitability considerations, whereas the second is governed by marginal profitability considerations. A positive productivity shock in the host country may, on the one hand, increases the volume of the desired FDI flows to the host country but, on the other hand, somewhat counter-intuitively, lowers the likelihood of the making new FDI flows by the source country, at all. Every country is potentially both a source for FDI flows to several host countries, and a host for FDI flows from several source countries. Thus, the model could generate two-way FDI flows, but not all source-host FDI flows get realized. We employ a sample of 24 OECD countries, over the period 1981-98. We observe many pairs of countries with no FDI flows between them. Zero reported flows could indicate measurement errors, or true zeroes that are due to fixed costs (in situations where they dominate marginal productivity conditions). Empirical literature on the determinants of FDI flows that uses the Tobit procedure aims at a correction for measurement errors provides nevertheless biased estimates in the presence of fixed costs. By employing the Heckman selection procedure, we demonstrate how to get unbiased estimates of the fixed-costs effects on FDI flows. Controlling for the selection into source-host pairs of countries, and for time and country fixed effects, the Paper sheds light on the importance of several covariates, such as income per capita, education, and financial risk ratings as key determinants of volume of FDI flows. While the coefficients of both the source-and host-country average years of schooling are positive and significant in the flow equation, the magnitude of the source country coefficient is more than twice that of the host country. That is, the richer the source country is relative to the host country, the larger are the FDI flows that occur between them.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4732.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4732

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Keywords: FDI flows; fixed costs; productivity shocks;

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  1. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Coury, Tarek, 2003. "Trade openness, investment instability and terms-of-trade volatility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 285-306, December.
  2. Kevin H. Zhang & James R. Markusen, 1997. "Vertical Multinationals and Host-Country Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 6203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Razin, Assaf & Rubinstein, Yona & Sadka, Efraim, 2004. "Which Countries Export FDI, and How Much?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4204, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Gravity-defying trade," Working Papers 03-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
  6. Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2013. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 67-100, 01.
  7. Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Pollution Havens and Foreign Direct Investment: Dirty Secret or Popular Myth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  9. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 33-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1996. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 12, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  11. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  12. James Tobin, 1956. "Estimation of Relationships for Limited Dependent Variables," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 3R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Loungani, Prakash & Mody, Ashoka & Razin, Assaf, 2002. "The Global Disconnect: The Role of Transactional Distance and Scale Economies in Gravity Equations," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 526-43, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Eicher, Theo S. & Helfman, Lindy & Lenkoski, Alex, 2012. "Robust FDI determinants: Bayesian Model Averaging in the presence of selection bias," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 637-651.
  2. Hansson, Åsa & Olofsdotter, Karin, 2011. "Labor Taxation and FDI decisions in the European Union," Working Papers 2011:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ricardo Hausmann and Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Global imbalances or bad accounting? The missing dark matter in the wealth of nations," Business School Working Papers globalimbal, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  4. Miguel Fuentes & Diego Saravia, 2009. "Sovereing Defaulters: Do International Capital Markets Punish Them?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 515, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. Guntram Wolff, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment in the Enlarged EU: Do Taxes Matter and to What Extent?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 327-346, July.
  6. repec:dgr:uvatin:2007077 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Jelle Brouwer & Richard Paap & Jean-Marie Viaene, 2007. "The Trade and FDI Effects of EMU Enlargement," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-077/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld, 2004. "External Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 10843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Buch, Claudia M. & Kleinert, Jorn & Toubal, Farid, 2006. "Where enterprises lead, people follow? Links between migration and FDI in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 2017-2036, November.
  10. Juann H. Hung & Young Jin Kim, 2006. "Implications of Past Currency Crises for the U.S. Current Account Adjustment: Working Paper 2006-07," Working Papers 17861, Congressional Budget Office.
  11. Assaf Razin & Yona Rubinstein & Efraim Sadka, 2005. "Corporate Taxation and Bilateral FDI with Threshold Barriers," NBER Working Papers 11196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2006. "Vying for Foreign Direct Investment: A EU-type Model of Tax Competition," NBER Working Papers 11991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bruce A. Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," NBER Working Papers 11299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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