Reversal of Fortunes: Democratic Institutions and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to Developing Countries
Does increased democracy promote or jeopardize foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to less-developed countries? We argue that democratic institutions have conflicting effects on FDI inflows. On the one hand, democratic institutions hinder FDI inflows by limiting the oligopolistic or monopolistic behaviors of multinational enterprises, facilitating indigenous businesses' pursuit of protection from foreign capital, and constraining host governments' ability to offer generous financial and fiscal incentives to foreign investors. On the other hand, democratic institutions promote FDI inflows because they tend to ensure more credible property rights protection, reducing risks and transaction costs for foreign investors. Hence, the net effect of democracy on FDI inflows is contingent on the relative strength of these two competing forces. Our argument reconciles conflicting theoretical expectations in the existing literature. Empirical analyses of fifty-three developing countries from 1982 to 1995 substantiate our claims. We find that both property rights protection and democracy-related property rights protection encourage FDI inflows; after controlling for their positive effect through property rights protection, democratic institutions reduce FDI inflows. These results are robust against alternative model specifications, statistical estimators, and variable measurements.
Volume (Year): 57 (2003)
Issue (Month): 01 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK|
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_INO
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:57:y:2003:i:01:p:175-211_57. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.