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Revisiting the proximity-concentration trade-off: Distance and Horizontal Foreign Direct Investment in OECD countries

This paper provides new insights in the link between distance and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in OECD countries. We find that the impact of distance on flows and stocks of FDI, controlling for exports, is negative and strongly significant, in line with gravity models, whereas in a standard proximity-concentration framework the impact should be positive. We propose a harmonized theoretical framework, allowing for distance increasing fixed costs, to reconcile these conflicting conclusions. This model is tested using alternative measures of distance (geographical/monetary/financial/legal/cultural) on OECD countries (1997-2001) and the impact of cultural distance appears strongly predominant in this setup.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 153.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:153
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry and Multinational Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Luiz de Mello, 1997. "Foreign direct investment in developing countries and growth: A selective survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-34.
  3. Philippe Martin & Helene Rey, 2000. "Financial integration and asset returns," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20201, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Michel Boutillier & Sabine Dérangère, 1992. "Le taux du crédit accordé aux entreprises françaises : coûts opératoires des banques et prime de risque de défaut," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 43(2), pages 363-382.
  5. Francis E. Warnock & Hali J. Edison, 2001. "A Simple Measure of the Intensity of Capital Controls," IMF Working Papers 01/180, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1987. "Strategic Investments and the Development of Multinationals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 109-21, February.
  7. Froot, Kenneth A & Stein, Jeremy C, 1991. "Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment: An Imperfect Capital Markets Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1191-217, November.
  8. Richard Portes & Hélène Rey, 2001. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," DELTA Working Papers 2001-08, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  9. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
  11. Ignatius Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1987. "Licensing versus Direct Investment: A Model of Internalization by the Multinational Enterprise," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(3), pages 464-81, August.
  12. Claudia M. Buch & Jörn Kleinert & Farid Toubal, 2003. "The Distance Puzzle: On the Interpretation of the Distance Coefficient in Gravity Equations," Kiel Working Papers 1159, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  14. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  15. Bruce A. Blonigen & Christopher J. Ellis & Dietrich Fausten, 2003. "Industrial groupings and foreign direct investment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-19, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Mar 2003.
  16. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  17. de Mello, Luiz R, Jr, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment-Led Growth: Evidence from Time Series and Panel Data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 133-51, January.
  18. Helpman, Elhanan, 1985. "Multinational Corporations and Trade Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 443-57, July.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
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