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Outward foreign direct investment, wage rigidity and unemployment: A computable general equilibrium analysis


  • Kun-Ming Chen


Taiwan has started to liberalize its exchange rate and foreign investment policies since the mid 1980s. The subsequent considerable appreciation of its currency and increasing labor cost has stimulated many Taiwanese firms to actively undertake outward foreign direct investment (FDI). The possibility of the industrial hollowing-out induced by the FDI has been a great concern in Taiwan. The purpose of this paper is to establish a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to investigate the impact of outward FDI by Taiwanese firms on its domestic economy. The efficiency wage theory is incorporated into the analytical framework. This paper first employs regression analysis to show that there exists severe wage rigidity in the labor market of Taiwan. Its simulation analysis then indicates that the outward FDI from Taiwan might reduce its income and employment to some extent. These results reveal that the outward FDI might hurt a distortion-ridden economy, which is consistent with the theoretical findings of Brecher and Choudhri (1987) and Basu (1998). However, it seems that the outward FDI could account for only a very small part of the recent increase in Taiwan's unemployment level.

Suggested Citation

  • Kun-Ming Chen, 2011. "Outward foreign direct investment, wage rigidity and unemployment: A computable general equilibrium analysis," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 569-583.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:20:y:2011:i:4:p:569-583
    DOI: 10.1080/09638190903137206

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