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The Effects of Direct Foreign Investment on Local Communities

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  • David N. Figlio
  • Bruce A. Blonigen

Abstract

The large increase in direct foreign investment (DFI) into the United States in the late 1980s has generated considerable research on why these flows occurred and where these foreign firms located. However, very little has been done to evaluate the impact these foreign firms have on the local communities in which they locate. As a first step in addressing this topic, we use detailed county-level panel data from South Carolina across 5 year intervals from 1980 through 1995 to investigate the effect of foreign manufacturing firms on local labor markets and on the level and distribution of local government budgets. We find that manufacturing employment by foreign firms has a substantial impact on industry wages and county budgets which is significantly different from domestic manufacturing employment. With respect to wages, we find that while increased manufacturing employment generally increases county wages in an average two-digit industry, this effect is more than seven times larger when the employment growth comes from a foreign firm, rather than a domestic one. On the budget side, we find that foreign employment leads to larger declines in per capita revenues and expenditures at the county level, and to significant redistribution of county expenditures away from public school funding and toward transportation and public safety.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7274.

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Date of creation: Jul 1999
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Publication status: published as Figlio, David N. and Bruce A. Blonigen. "The Effects Of Foreign Direct Investment On Local Communities," Journal of Urban Economics, 2000, v48(2,Sep), 338-363.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7274

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  1. Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S111-43, June.
  2. Aitken, B. & Harrison, A. & Lipsey, R.E., 1995. "Wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Papers 95-21, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Magnus Blomstrom & Ari Kokko, 1994. "Home Country Effects of Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Sweden," NBER Working Papers 4639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Keith Head & John Ries & Deborah Swenson, 1994. "Agglomeration Benefits and Location Choice: Evidence from Japanese Manufacturing Investment in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Coughlin, Cletus C & Terza, Joseph V & Arromdee, Vachira, 1991. "State Characteristics and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment within the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 675-83, November.
  8. Edward M. Graham & Paul Krugman, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 3rd Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 52.
  9. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
  10. Figlio, David N., 1997. "Teacher salaries and teacher quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 267-271, August.
  11. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Dinopoulos, Elias & Wong, Kar-yiu, 1992. "Quid Pro Quo Foreign Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 186-90, May.
  12. Blonigen, Bruce A & Figlio, David N, 1998. "Voting for Protection: Does Direct Foreign Investment Influence Legislator Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1002-14, September.
  13. Steven Globerman & John C. Ries & Ilan Vertinsky, 1994. "The Economic Performance of Foreign Affiliates in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 143-56, February.
  14. Timothy J. Bartik, 2003. "Local Economic Development Policies," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 03-91, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Morrisset, Jacques & Pirnia, Neda, 2000. "How tax policy and incentives affect foreign direct investment - a review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2509, The World Bank.
  2. Sule Ozler & Erol Taymaz, 2004. "Does foreign ownership matter for survival and growth? Dynamics of competition and foreign direct investment," ERC Working Papers 0406, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Mar 2004.
  3. Louis T., Jr. Wells & Nancy J. Allen & Jacques Morisset & Neda Pirnia, 2001. "Using Tax Incentives to Compete for Foreign Investment : Are They Worth the Costs?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13979, October.

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