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Foreign direct investment and firm performance: an empirical analysis of Italian firms

Author

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  • Alessandro Borin

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Michele Mancini

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Both empirical and theoretical literature show that multinational firms exhibit a competitive advantage before investing abroad. However, there are no clear empirical results regarding the ex-post effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on firm performance, partially due to the inadequacy of available firm-level data. We build a brand new firm-level dataset able both to represent the extent of Italian firms' foreign activity and to provide reliable measures of key performance indicators, especially total factor productivity (TFP) and employment. We then use a propensity score matching procedure to analyze the causal relationship between FDI and firm performance. Firms investing abroad for the very first time, especially in advanced economies, show higher productivity and employment dynamics in the years following the investment: the average positive effect on TFP is driven by new multinationals operating in specialized and high-tech sectors, while the positive employment gains are explained by an increase of the white collar component. On average there are no negative effects on the parent firm's blue collar component.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Borin & Michele Mancini, 2015. "Foreign direct investment and firm performance: an empirical analysis of Italian firms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1011, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1011_15
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    5. Giorgia Giovannetti & Enrico Marvasi & Giorgio Ricchiuti, 2019. "Does the Same FDI Fit All? How Competition and Affiliates Characteristics Affect Parents’ Productivity," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(3), pages 369-402, October.
    6. Fiedler, Salomon & Görg, Holger & Hornok, Cecília & Jannsen, Nils & Kooths, Stefan & Marchal, Léa & Potjagailo, Galina, 2018. "Direktinvestitionen im Ausland - Effekte auf die deutsche Leistungsbilanz und Spillovers in den Empfängerländern," Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik 16, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Schiffbauer, Marc & Siedschlag, Iulia & Ruane, Frances, 2017. "Do foreign mergers and acquisitions boost firm productivity?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1124-1140.
    8. Figal Garone, Lucas & López Villalba, Paula A. & Maffioli, Alessandro & Ruzzier, Christian A., 2020. "Firm-level productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 186-192.
    9. Xiaoguang Zhou & Yadi Cui, 2019. "Green Bonds, Corporate Performance, and Corporate Social Responsibility," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(23), pages 1-27, December.
    10. Chiara Bentivogli & Litterio Mirenda, 2017. "Foreign ownership and performance: evidence from a panel of Italian firms," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Uses of central balance sheet data offices' information, volume 45, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Lucas Figal Garone & Paula A. López Villalba & Alessandro Maffioli & Christian A. Ruzzier, 2020. "Productivity differences among firms in Latin American and the Caribbean," Working Papers 136, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jan 2020.
    12. Riccardo Cristadoro & Leandro D�Aurizio, 2015. "The Italian Firms� International Activity," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 261, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    13. Jacopo Timini & Ayman El-Dahrawy Sánchez-Albornoz, 2019. "The impact of China on Latin America: trade and foreign direct investment channels," Economic Bulletin, Banco de España, issue JUN, pages 1-11.
    14. Emanuele Brancati & Raffaele Brancati & Dario Guarascio & Andrea Maresca & Manuel Romagnoli & Antonello Zanfei, 2018. "Firm-level Drivers of Export Performance and External Competitiveness in Italy," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 087, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    multinational firms; FDI; productivity; propensity score matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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