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Direct investment: a doubtful alternative to international debt


  • Harold L. Cole
  • William B. English


The paper considers a model in which private foreign investors make direct long-lived capital investments in a small developing country that is subject to stochastic shocks to production. Depending upon the preferences of the host country, we find that expropriation can occur because of either desperation or opportunism. We show that under reasonable assumptions, increased investment makes expropriation less likely to occur and that the level of investment chosen by atomistic foreign investors may be nonoptimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold L. Cole & William B. English, 1992. "Direct investment: a doubtful alternative to international debt," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 12-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1992:i:win:p:12-22:n:v.16no.1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-1089, July.
    2. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    3. Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Debt with potential repudiation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1099-1109, July.
    4. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    5. Cole, Harold L. & English, William B., 1991. "Expropriation and direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 201-227, May.
    6. Kletzer, Kenneth M, 1984. "Asymmetries of Information and LDC Borrowing with Sovereign Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 287-307, June.
    7. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1984. "A Theory of Expropriation and Deviations from Perfect Capital Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 16-40, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Faria, Andr & Mauro, Paolo, 2009. "Institutions and the external capital structure of countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 367-391, April.
    2. Flôres Junior, Renato Galvão & Araújo, Carlos Hamilton Vasconcelos, 2002. "Foreign funding to an emerging market: the Monetary Premium Theory and the Brazilian Case, 1991 - 1998," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 459, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).


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