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Absorptive Capacities and the Impact of FDI on Economic Growth


  • Beatrice Farkas


This paper analyzes the necessary local conditions required for the existence of positive spillovers from multinationals' entry and it consists of a unified study of absorptive capacities. We start from the idea that FDI speeds up the diffusion of technologies across countries. Yet, the question that arises is: to what extent are these advanced technologies absorbed and successfully internalized by the receiving countries such that they materialize in welfare gains? The impact of FDI depends on the country specific absorptive capacity. We first interact FDI individually with different growth determinants and we find that the contribution of FDI to economic growth is positive and significant depending on the level of human capital and the development of financial markets, but its presence in developing countries must complement rather than substitute a set of other growth determinants. Then we test the robustness of the linear interaction terms relative to each other and we analyze the set of conditions that are most beneficial for FDI.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatrice Farkas, 2012. "Absorptive Capacities and the Impact of FDI on Economic Growth," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1202, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1202

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kugler, Maurice, 2006. "Spillovers from foreign direct investment: Within or between industries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 444-477, August.
    2. Balasubramanyam, V N & Salisu, M & Sapsford, David, 1996. "Foreign Direct Investment and Growth in EP and IS Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 92-105, January.
    3. Alfaro, Laura & Chanda, Areendam & Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sayek, Selin, 2004. "FDI and economic growth: the role of local financial markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 89-112, October.
    4. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lundblad, Christian, 2005. "Does financial liberalization spur growth?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 3-55, July.
    5. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Foreign direct investment as a catalyst for industrial development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 335-356, February.
    6. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2004. "Financial Market Globalization, Symmetry-Breaking, and Endogenous Inequality of Nations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 853-884, May.
    7. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 715-741.
    8. Magnus Blomstrom & Robert E. Lipsey & Mario Zejan, 1992. "What Explains Developing Country Growth?," NBER Working Papers 4132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Xu, Bin, 2000. "Multinational enterprises, technology diffusion, and host country productivity growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 477-493, August.
    10. Chris Papageorgiou & Subir Lall & Florence Jaumotte, 2008. "Rising Income Inequality; Technology, or Trade and Financial Globalization?," IMF Working Papers 08/185, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mes:emfitr:v:52:y:2016:i:4:p:904-922 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. KARGI, Bilal, 2014. "Portfolio in Turkish Economy, and A Long Termed Relation Between Foreign Direct Investments and The Growth, and The Structural Breakage Analysis (1980-2012)," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 70-81.
    3. Levoshko, Tamila, 2016. "Wie beeinflussen die politische Lage und FDI das Wirtschaftswachstum? Empirische Evidenz für die Ukraine und Polen," Working Papers 0615, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    4. Sabina Silajdzic & Eldin Mehic, 2016. "Absorptive Capabilities, FDI, and Economic Growth in Transition Economies," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(4), pages 904-922, April.
    5. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:2:p:123-149 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    FDI; economic growth; absorptive capacity;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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