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When does FDI matter? The roles of local institutions and ethnic origins of FDI

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  • Wang, Danny T.
  • Gu, Flora F.
  • Tse, David K.
  • Yim, Chi Kin (Bennett)

Abstract

How foreign direct investment (FDI) affects a host environment is a much discussed yet less understood topic of salience for international business managers, policy makers and researchers. Using panel data from 287 Chinese cities over the period 1999–2005, our study assesses (1) the multiple impacts of FDI in both positive and negative domains, (2) the role of local institutional development in moderating these impacts, and (3) whether the moderating effects of institutions differ depending upon the origins of the incoming investment (ethnic- versus non-ethnic-linked). Our analysis shows that indeed, FDI is a double-edged sword: it enhances the host city's economic growth, labor productivity and innovation but it also causes employment reduction and pollution in host cities. Moreover, the host city's institutional development is found to enhance the positive impacts of FDI and reduce its negative ones. Interestingly, the moderating effect is smaller for ethnic-linked FDI than for non-ethnic-linked FDI. As the first comprehensive attempt to unravel the role of institutional development in moderating the ambiguous impacts of FDI in multiple domains, this study confirms that a host's ability to absorb the benefits of FDI while curtailing its associated costs is both plausible and pivotal. As our world becomes flatter and FDI more entrenched in a host's economic and social development, this study provides important implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Danny T. & Gu, Flora F. & Tse, David K. & Yim, Chi Kin (Bennett), 2013. "When does FDI matter? The roles of local institutions and ethnic origins of FDI," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 450-465.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:22:y:2013:i:2:p:450-465
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2012.06.003
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    1. Seker, Fahri & Ertugrul, Hasan Murat & Cetin, Murat, 2015. "The impact of foreign direct investment on environmental quality: A bounds testing and causality analysis for Turkey," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 347-356.
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    3. Ines TROJETTE, 2016. "The Effect Of Foreign Direct Investment On Economic Growth: The Institutional Threshold," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 43, pages 111-138.
    4. Ha, Yoo Jung & Giroud, Axèle, 2015. "Competence-creating subsidiaries and FDI technology spillovers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 605-614.
    5. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:206-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Li, Xibao, 2015. "Specialization, institutions and innovation within China's regional innovation systems," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 130-139.
    7. Gevorkyan, Aleksandr V., 2015. "The legends of the Caucasus: Economic transformation of Armenia and Georgia," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1009-1024.
    8. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Nasreen, Samia & Abbas, Faisal & Anis, Omri, 2015. "Does foreign direct investment impede environmental quality in high-, middle-, and low-income countries?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 275-287.
    9. Alina Taran & Marilena Mironiuc & Maria-Carmen Huian, 2016. "Examining The Influence Of Some Macroeconomic Factors On Foreign Direct Investments," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 18, pages 159-182, December.

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