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Resource-based FDI and expropriation in developing economies

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  • Hajzler, Christopher

Abstract

Globally, foreign direct investment (FDI) assets are expropriated more in resource extraction industries compared to other sectors. Despite the higher apparent risk of expropriation in resources, countries more likely to expropriate also have a larger share of FDI in the resource sector. An incomplete markets model of FDI is developed to account for this puzzle. The type of government regime is stochastic, with low penalty regimes facing a relatively low, exogenous cost of expropriating FDI, and country risk is measured by the variation in these costs across different regimes. The key innovation of the model is that the government, before the regime type is known, is able to charge different prices to domestic and foreign investors for mineral rights. Granting cheap access increases FDI and reduces the country's share of resource rents, increasing the temptation to expropriate in a relatively low penalty regime. In very high-risk countries, subsidizing resource FDI increases the total value of output by raising investment, and the net gains from expropriating in a low penalty regime outweigh the rents foregone under a high penalty one. However, a stochastic resource output price results in relatively low-risk countries restricting FDI inflows to the resource sector instead — “windfall profits” in this sector raise incentives to expropriate when prices are high, yet minimization of the ex ante risk of expropriation is preferred owing to the relatively high penalty for expropriating. These results imply a higher average share of resource-based FDI in countries most likely to expropriate, while resources account for a high share of expropriated assets compared to the sector's global share of FDI. We show that the model is able to reconcile observed patterns of foreign investment and expropriation for a sample of 38 developing and emerging economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hajzler, Christopher, 2014. "Resource-based FDI and expropriation in developing economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 124-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:92:y:2014:i:1:p:124-146
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2013.10.004
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    4. Asongu, Simplice & Nguena, Christian, 2014. "Equitable and Sustainable Development of Foreign Land Acquisitions: what have we learnt on policy syndromes and implications?," MPRA Paper 56808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Simplice Anutechia Asongu & Christian Lambert Nguena, 2014. "Equitable and sustainable development of foreign land acquisitions: Lessons, Policies and Implications," AAYE Policy Research Working Paper Series 14_013, Association of African Young Economists, revised Aug 2014.
    6. Akhtaruzzaman, M. & Berg, Nathan & Hajzler, Christopher, 2017. "Expropriation risk and FDI in developing countries: Does return of capital dominate return on capital?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 84-107.
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    8. Asongu, Simplice & Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2015. "Conditional determinants of FDI in fast emerging economies: an instrumental quantile regression approach," MPRA Paper 67297, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Simplice Asongu & Enowbi Batuo & Vanessa Tchamyou, 2015. "Bundling Governance: Finance versus Institutions in Private Investment Promotion," Working Papers 15/051, African Governance and Development Institute..
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    11. Harms, Philipp & an de Meulen, Philipp, 2010. "Demographic Structure and the Security of Property Rights in Developing Countries – An Empirical Exploration," Ruhr Economic Papers 229, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. an de Meulen, Philipp, 2011. "Labor Heterogeneity and the Risk of Expropriation in Less Developed Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 298, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    13. Cakir Melek, Nida, 2014. "Productivity, nationalization, and the role of "news": lessons from the 1970s," Research Working Paper RWP 14-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    14. Glen Biglaiser & Hoon Lee & Joseph Staats, 2016. "The effects of the IMF on expropriation of foreign firms," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-23, March.
    15. Philipp Harms & Philipp an de Meulen, 2010. "Demographic Structure and the Security of Property Rights in Developing Countries – An Empirical Exploration," Ruhr Economic Papers 0229, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    16. Hanna Krings, 2014. "Environmental Aspects of Resource Extraction Contracts," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201434, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
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    18. Philipp an de Meulen, 2011. "Labor Heterogeneity and the Risk of Expropriation in Less Developed Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0298, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    19. repec:zbw:rwirep:0229 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Harms, Philipp & an de Meulen, Philipp, 2013. "Demographic structure and the security of property rights: The role of development and democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 73-89.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expropriation; Foreign direct investment; Natural resources;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other

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