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Foreign direct investment and wages: a cross-country analysis

  • Munisamy Gopinath
  • Weiyan Chen

While globalization has led to overall economic growth in a number of countries, questions abound on its distributional effects, especially on rising wage inequality across nations. The main objective of this study is to investigate empirically the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on wages in a cross-country setting. We investigate the general equilibrium propositions that capital inflows (outflows) increase (lower) wages in host (home) countries due to the change in relative factor endowments. We also explore whether capital inflows have differential impacts on skilled and unskilled wages in developing economies. Time-series data on 26 countries, 15 developed and 11 developing, are used to fit the labour share equation derived from a translog GNP function with net FDI stock as one of its arguments. Results confirm that capital movement brings about a cross-country convergence of wages. However, there is some evidence that inward FDI flows increase the wage gap between skilled and unskilled workers in developing countries.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 285-309

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:285-309
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  1. Jagdish Bhagwati, 1996. "Political Economy And International Economics: Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522187 edited by Douglas A. Irwin, June.
  2. Robert E. Lipsey, 1995. "Outward Direct Investment and the U.S. Economy," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin, 1999. "Two Waves of Globalisation: Superficial Similarities, Fundamental Differences," NBER Working Papers 6904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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