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What Determines BITs?

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  • Jeffrey H. Bergstrand
  • Peter Egger

Abstract

Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have proliferated over the past 50 years such that the number of pairs of countries with BITs is roughly as large as the number of country-pairs that belong to bilateral or regional preferential trade agreements (PTAs). The purpose of this study is to provide the first systematic empirical analysis of the economic determinants of BITs and of the likelihood of BITs between pairs of countries using a qualitative choice model, and in a manner consistent with explaining PTAs. We develop the econometric specification for explaining the two based upon a general equilibrium model of world trade and foreign direct investment with three factors, two products, and explicit natural as well as policy trade and investment costs among multiple countries in the presence of national and multinational firms. The empirical model for BITs and PTAs is bivariate in nature and supports a set of hypotheses drawn from the general equilibrium model. Using the preferred empirical model, we correctly predict approximately 85 (75) percent of all BITs (PTAs) correctly, relative to an unconditional probability of only 11 (16) percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey H. Bergstrand & Peter Egger, 2011. "What Determines BITs?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3514, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3514
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    Cited by:

    1. Falvey R. & Foster-McGregor N., 2015. "North-South FDI and Bilateral Investment Treaties," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Paniagua, Jordi & Sapena, Juan, 2014. "Is FDI doing good? A golden rule for FDI ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 807-812.
    3. Demir, Firat, 2016. "Effects of FDI Flows on Institutional Development: Does It Matter Where the Investors are from?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 341-359.
    4. Dorn, Sabrina & Egger, Peter, 2015. "On the distribution of exchange rate regime treatment effects on international trade," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, pages 75-94.
    5. Horn, Henrik & Tangerås, Thomas, 2016. "Economics and Politics of International Investment Agreements," Working Paper Series 1140, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Lauge N. Skovgaard Poulsen & Emma Aisbett, 2011. "When the Claim Hits: Bilateral Investment Treaties and Bounded Rational Learning," Crawford School Research Papers 1105, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Eric Neumayer & Peter Nunnenkamp & Martin Roy, 2016. "Are stricter investment rules contagious? Host country competition for foreign direct investment through international agreements," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(1), pages 177-213, February.
    8. Taganov, B. & Idrisov, G., 2016. "Investment Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements: Quality Matters," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 40-65.
    9. Kohler, Wilhelm Kaspar & Stähler, Frank, 2016. "The Economics of Investor Protection: ISDS versus National Treatment," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145652, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Schjelderup, Guttorm & Stähler, Frank, 2017. "Investor State Dispute Settlement and Multinational Firm Behavior," Discussion Papers 2017/4, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    11. repec:eee:jimfin:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:164-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hellmanzik, Christiane & Schmitz, Martin, 2017. "Taking gravity online: The role of virtual proximity in international finance," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 164-179.
    13. Dominique Bruhn, 2015. "Coverage and enforceability of investment rules in PTAs: the role of global value chain trade and regulatory differences," FIW Working Paper series 142, FIW.
    14. Paniagua, Jordi & Figueiredo, Erik & Sapena, Juan, 2015. "Quantile regression for the FDI gravity equation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1512-1518.
    15. Giovanni Facchini & Peri Silva & Gerald Willmann, 2015. "The Political Economy of Preferential Trade Arrangements: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 2015-16, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    16. Falvey, Rod & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2017. "On the relationship between the breadth of PTAs and trade flows," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. Tristan Kohl & Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen, 2016. "Do Trade Agreements Stimulate International Trade Differently? Evidence from 296 Trade Agreements," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 97-131, January.
    18. Maria Teresa Costa-Campi & Jordi Paniagua & Elisa Trujillo-Baute, 2015. "Are energy market integrations a green light for FDI?," Working Papers 2015/18, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    19. Cuadros, Ana & Martín-Montaner, Joan & Paniagua, Jordi, 2016. "Homeward bound FDI: Are migrants a bridge over troubled finance?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 454-465.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bilateral investment treaties; foreign direct investment; multinational firms; free trade agreements; international trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General

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