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Regional heterogeneity and location choice of FDI in Korea via agglomeration and linkage relationships


  • Ki-Dong Lee
  • Seok-Joon Hwang


Using the extensive micro data for 1998–2005, we analyze the role of agglomeration effects in terms of both horizontal and vertical aspects in the location decision of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea. The nested logit estimates support the follow-the-leader hypothesis. The network among FDI firms, backward linkage relationship with local upstream firms, and business service agglomeration are the main determinants of FDI location. Our estimation results suggest the possibility of a circular causality between the attractive force of backward agglomeration and the knowledge spillover of FDI, which brings in the geographical concentration of economic activities within a region. In addition, we find quite different location patterns between high- and low-tech industry groups. Reflecting the characteristics of the industry, whereas the centripetal force of foreign agglomeration increases gradually in the high-tech industry, it decreases gradually with the size of agglomeration in the low-tech industry. Furthermore, while regional gap of the labor cost matters in the location decision of low-tech firms, the regional quality of labor matters for the high-tech firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ki-Dong Lee & Seok-Joon Hwang, 2014. "Regional heterogeneity and location choice of FDI in Korea via agglomeration and linkage relationships," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 464-487, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rjapxx:v:19:y:2014:i:3:p:464-487
    DOI: 10.1080/13547860.2014.908535

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou & Daniel L. McFadden, 1998. "The Method of Simulated Scores for the Estimation of LDV Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 863-896, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fonseca Felipe J. & Llamosas-Rosas Irving, 2018. "Determinants of FDI Attraction in the Manufacturing Sector in Mexico, 1999-2015," Working Papers 2018-07, Banco de México.
    2. Ki-Dong Lee & Seok-Joon Hwang, 2016. "Regional Characteristics, Industry Agglomeration and Location Choice: Evidence from Japanese Manufacturing Investments in Korea," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 123-145, June.

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