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The real exchange rate and foreign direct investment in the United States: relative wealth vs. relative wage effects

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  • Michael W. Klein
  • Eric S. Rosengren

Abstract

There has been a significant correlation between inward foreign direct investment in the United States and the U.S. real exchange rate since the 1970s. Two alternative reasons for this relationship are that the real exchange rate affects the relative cost of production and that the real exchange rate alters reTative wealth across countries. In this paper we explore these alternatives by examining the determinants of four measures of inward foreign direct investment to the United States from seven industrial countries over the period 1979 to 1988. We find strong evidence that relative wealth significantly affects foreign direct investment in the United States. We find little evidence that relative wages have a significant impact on the determination of foreign direct investment in the United States. These results are robust to the choice of countries in our sample and when controlling for changes in tax codes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 92-2.

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Date of creation: 1992
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Publication status: Published in Journal of International Economics 36, no. 3/4 (May 1994): 373-90.
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:92-2

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Keywords: Investments; Foreign - United States ; Foreign exchange rates;

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  1. Swenson, Deborah L., 1994. "The impact of U.S. tax reform on foreign direct investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 243-266, June.
  2. Froot, Kenneth A & Stein, Jeremy C, 1991. "Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment: An Imperfect Capital Markets Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1191-217, November.
  3. Scholes, Myron S & Wolfson, Mark A, 1990. "The Effects of Changes in Tax Laws on Corporate Reorganization Activity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages S141-64, January.
  4. Caves, Richard E, 1971. "International Corporations: The Industrial Economics of Foreign Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(149), pages 1-27, February.
  5. Culem, Claudy G., 1988. "The locational determinants of direct investments among industrialized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 885-904, April.
  6. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "Tax Effects on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Evidence from a Cross-Country Comparison," NBER Working Papers 3042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cushman, David O, 1985. "Real Exchange Rate Risk, Expectations, and the Level of Direct Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 297-308, May.
  8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  9. Michael J. Boskin & William G. Gale, 1987. "New Results on the Effects of Tax Policy on the International Location of Investment," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 201-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Slemrod, J., 1989. "Tax Effects Of Foreign Direct Investment In The U.S.: Evidence From A Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers 254, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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