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Multinational corporations’ economic and human rights impacts on developing countries: a review and research agenda

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  • Elisa Giuliani
  • Chiara Macchi

Abstract

Developing countries are attracting a significant portion of global foreign direct investments. Governments of such countries often compete fiercely for attracting multinational corporations (MNCs) in the expectation of the advantages they will bring to their economies, often prioritising economic goals over fundamental human rights. For a long time, economists have analysed the economic impacts of MNCs, while a parallel strand of work in political science, business ethics and international law investigates the repercussions of MNC operations on human rights. Despite the significant relatedness and complementarities, these two bodies of literature have so far poorly interacted. This paper addresses this limitation and systematically analyses and integrates existing micro-level empirical evidence on the economic and human rights impacts of MNCs on developing countries. It provides a critical analysis of what is known and highlights what we do not know about the factors that mediate the positive and/or negative impacts of MNC operations on host developing countries. Based on a critical analysis of the literature, it discusses avenues for future research in this field and sets the grounds for a new interdisciplinary research agenda on this subject.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisa Giuliani & Chiara Macchi, 2014. "Multinational corporations’ economic and human rights impacts on developing countries: a review and research agenda," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 479-517.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:38:y:2014:i:2:p:479-517.
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    2. Elisa Giuliani, 2016. "Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries’ Industrial Clusters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 39-54, January.
    3. Kolk, Ans, 2016. "The social responsibility of international business: From ethics and the environment to CSR and sustainable development," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 23-34.
    4. De Marchi, Valentina & Giuliani, Elisa & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2015. "Local innovation and global value chains in developing countries," MERIT Working Papers 022, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Elisa Giuliani, 2016. "Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries’ Industrial Clusters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 39-54, January.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:294-314 is not listed on IDEAS
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    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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