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Determinants of foreign direct investment

Listed author(s):
  • Bruce A. Blonigen
  • Jeremy Piger

Empirical studies of bilateral foreign direct investment (FDI) activity show substantial differences in specifications with little agreement on the set of included covariates. We use Bayesian statistical techniques that allow one to select from a large set of candidates those variables most likely to be determinants of FDI activity. The variables with consistently high inclusion probabilities include traditional gravity variables, cultural distance factors, relative labour endowments and trade agreements. There is little support for multilateral trade openness, most hostcountry business costs, hostcountry infrastructure and hostcountry institutions. Our results suggest that many covariates found significant by previous studies are not robust.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 47 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 775-812

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:47:y:2014:i:3:p:775-812
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  1. Stein, Ernesto & Daude, Christian, 2007. "Longitude matters: Time zones and the location of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 96-112, March.
  2. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H. & Egger, Peter, 2007. "A knowledge-and-physical-capital model of international trade flows, foreign direct investment, and multinational enterprises," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 278-308, November.
  5. Henrik Braconier & Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Dieter Urban, 2005. "Reconciling the Evidence on the Knowledge-capital Model," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 770-786, 09.
  6. Theodore H. Moran & Edward M. Graham & Magnus Blomstrom, 2005. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Development?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3810, November.
  7. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(5), pages 601-622, 09.
  8. di Giovanni, Julian, 2005. "What drives capital flows? The case of cross-border M&A activity and financial deepening," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 127-149, January.
  9. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
  10. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2007. "Estimating models of complex FDI: Are there third-country effects?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 260-281, September.
  11. Bruce A. Blonigen & Miao Wang, 2004. "Inappropriate Pooling of Wealthy and Poor Countries in Empirical FDI Studies," NBER Working Papers 10378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Chakrabarti, Avik, 2001. "The Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment: Sensitivity Analyses of Cross-Country Regressions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 89-113.
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