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Do Foreign Investors Care About Labour Market Regulations?

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  • Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata
  • Spatareanu, Mariana

Abstract

This study takes a new look at the regulatory determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) by asking whether labour market flexibility affects FDI flows across 19 Western and Eastern European countries. The analysis is based on firm-level data on new investments undertaken during the 1998-2001 period. The study employs a variety of proxies for labour market regulations reflecting the flexibility of individual and collective dismissals, the length of the notice period and the required severance payment along with a comprehensive set of controls for the business climate characteristics. The results suggest that greater flexibility in the host country’s labour market in absolute terms or relative to that in the investor’s home country is associated with larger FDI flows. The findings indicate that as the labour market flexibility in the host country increases from inflexible (e.g. France) to flexible (e.g. United Kingdom), the volume of investment goes up by between 12% and 26%. FDI in services sectors appears to be more sensitive to labour market regulations than investment in manufacturing.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4839.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4839

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Keywords: firm-level data; foreign direct investment; labour market regulation;

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  1. 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.
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  7. 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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  9. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  10. 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.
  11. Hines, James R, Jr, 1996. "Altered States: Taxes and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in America," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1076-94, December.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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