China's post-economic reform growth: The role of FDI and productivity progress
China has become the top FDI destination among all developing countries and remained host to the world's largest share of foreign direct investment receipts since its accession to the WTO in 2001. Given the impressive growth performance and FDI influx into China, the two globalized delta economies (GDEs), Pearl River Delta (PRD) and Yangtze River Delta (YRD), have continued to out-perform all other regions in China in terms of FDI absorption and growth. The role that inward FDI plays in the process of regional development and the exact channels through which economic growth would be affected are investigated by panel data estimations of the GDEs at the city level since China's economic opening and reform. This research shows consistent results with some recent findings in other developing countries in that FDI exerted spillover effects and affected productivity (TFP) growth of the recipients. While TFP was found to be increasing overtime in the GDEs cities and facilitated economic growth in both PRD/YRD regions, major technology- and knowledge-related factors including R&D and human capital other than FDI also played critical roles in TFP enhancement and regional growth. The endogeneity of TFP and the simultaneous relations of FDI in affecting TFP and output growth are also addressed in this regard.
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