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The effects of outward FDI on home-country productivity: Do location of investment and market orientation matter?

  • Wen-Chung Hsu
  • Xingbo Gao
  • Jianhua Zhang
  • Hsin Mei Lin
Registered author(s):

    Purpose – The paper aims to examine the effects of outward foreign direct investment (O-FDI) on home-country productivity. Design/methodology/approach – A panel data set for 15 Taiwanese manufacturing industries over the period between 1991 and 2007 is employed for a model in which productivity is regressed on a measure of O-FDI. Findings – The study finds no significant positive or negative effect of O-FDI on productivity. Breaking down the data by location of the investment, however, we find that O-FDI in other countries enhances productivity in Taiwan, while O-FDI in China does not. We interpret the positive role of O-FDI in other countries as relating to the outcome of strategic asset-seeking nature of Taiwanese investments in these countries. Research limitations/implications – In order to analyse the productivity effect of O-FDI more precisely, one would need to compare the firm outcomes in the presence of multinational production with the outcomes that would have prevailed in the absence of multinational production. Unfortunately, we cannot observe what would have happened to firms that did engage in multinational production had they not done so. Practical implications – The findings suggest that the Taiwanese Government should distinguish the level of liberalization towards O-FDI for different locations and in different types of industries. In particular, the government should channel more investment towards export-oriented industries especially those in “other countries”. Originality/value – The paper employs a contingency approach, examining the conditions under which O-FDI impacts upon home productivity.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 99-116

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ceftpp:v:4:y:2011:i:2:p:99-116
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