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The Giant Sucking Sound: Is China Diverting Foreign Direct Investments from Other Asian Economies?


  • Chantasasawat, Busakorn
  • Fung, K. C.
  • Iizaka, Hitomi
  • Siu, Alan


Is China taking direct investments away from other Asian economies? Theoretically, a growing China can add to other countries’ direct investments by creating more opportunities for production-networking and raising the need for raw materials and resources. At the same time, the extremely low Chinese labor costs may lure multinationals away from other Asian sites when the foreign corporations consider alternative locations for low-cost export platforms. In this paper, we explore this important issue empirically. We use data for eight Asian economies (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand) from 1985 to 2001 and control for the determinants of their inward direct investment. We then add China’s inward foreign direct investment as an indicator of the “China Effect†. Due to issues of simultaneity, we use a random effects simultaneous equation model to estimate our coefficients. We have three results: (1) The level of China’s foreign direct investment is positively related to the levels of these economies’ inward direct investments; (2) the level of China’s foreign direct investment is negatively related to the direct investments of these economies as shares of total Asian foreign direct investments; (3) The China effect is not the most important determinant of the inward direct investments of these economies. Policy and institutional factors such as openness, corporate tax rates and corruption can be more important.

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  • Chantasasawat, Busakorn & Fung, K. C. & Iizaka, Hitomi & Siu, Alan, 2004. "The Giant Sucking Sound: Is China Diverting Foreign Direct Investments from Other Asian Economies?," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt74s1m5g4, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:scciec:qt74s1m5g4

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    1. Singh, Nirvikar & Srinivasan, T. N., 2004. "Fiscal Policy in India: Lessons and Priorities," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt67t3p20w, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Vijay Joshi & Sanjeev Sanyal, 2004. "Foreign Inflows and Macroeconomic Policy in India," India Policy Forum, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(1), pages 135-188.
    3. Deepak Lal, 2002. "Financial Exuberace: Savings Deposits, Fiscal Deficits and Interest Rates In India," UCLA Economics Working Papers 821, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2001. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1155-1197, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katiuscia Vaccarini, 2014. "Psychic distance and FDI: the case of China," Working Papers 1403, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    2. Fung, K. C., 2005. "Trade and Investment among China, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific Economies: An Invited Testimony to the U.S. Congressional Commission," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt0nt943kp, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    3. K. C. Fung & Alicia Garcia-Herrero & Hitomi Iizaka & Alan Siu, 2005. "Hard Or Soft? Institutional Reforms And Infrastructure Spending As Determinants Of Foreign Direct Investment In China," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 408-416.
    4. Michael G. PLUMMER & David CHEONG, 2009. "Fdi Effects Of Asean Integration," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 29, pages 49-67.
    5. Christian Dreger & Julian Donaubauer, 2016. "The End of Cheap Labour: Are Foreign Investors Leaving China?," Working Papers id:11277, eSocialSciences.
    6. Fung , K.C. & Korhonen, Iikka & Li, Ke & Ng, Francis, 2008. "China and central and eastern European countries : regional networks, global supply chain, or international competitors?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4689, The World Bank.
    7. de Boyrie Maria E, 2010. "Structural Changes, Causality, and Foreign Direct Investments: Evidence from the Asian Crises of 1997," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 9(4), pages 1-40, January.
    8. Resmini, Laura & Siedschlag, Iulia, 2013. "Is foreign direct investment to China crowding out the foreign direct investment to other countries?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-16.

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