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Globalization, Natural Resources and Foreign Investment: A View from the Resource-Rich Tropics

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  • Gregg Huff

Abstract

This article uses data drawn from Southeast Asia and West Africa to help explain the geographical distribution of foreign investment. Why during late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century globalization did the attributes of abundant natural resources, mass migration and export expansion that attracted large foreign investment to the New World not similarly draw capital to the tropics? I argue that in a number of tropical countries, rich natural resources and cheap labour available through mass migration effectively substituted for foreign borrowing. At the same time, the dominant institution of colonialism throughout Southeast Asia and West Africa limited borrowing from abroad and helped to ensure that even for these resource-rich countries capital flows remained slight.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2007_16.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2007_16

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Keywords: 19th century UK foreign investment; tropical growth; globalization; vent-for-surplus; natural resources; institutions; colonialism;

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  8. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
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