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Growth and the quality of foreign direct investment: is all FDI equal?

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  • Alfaro, Laura
  • Charlton, Andrew

Abstract

In this paper we distinguish different “qualities” of FDI to re-examine the relationship between FDI and growth. We use ‘quality’ to mean the effect of a unit of FDI on economic growth. However this is difficult to establish because it is a function of many different country and project characteristics which are often hard to measure Hence, we differentiate “quality FDI” in several different ways. First, we look at the possibility that the effects of FDI differ by sector. Second, we differentiate FDI based on objective qualitative industry characteristics including the average skill intensity and reliance on external capital. Third, we use a new dataset on industry-level targeting to analyze quality FDI based on the subjective preferences expressed by the receiving countries themselves. Finally, we use a two-stage least squares methodology to control for measurement error and endogeneity. Exploiting a new comprehensive industry level data set of 29 countries between 1985 and 2000, we find that the growth effects of FDI increase when we account for the quality of FDI.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfaro, Laura & Charlton, Andrew, 2007. "Growth and the quality of foreign direct investment: is all FDI equal?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19666
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob Kolster, 2015. "North Africa - Working paper - Does foreign direct investment improve welfare in North African countries?," Working Paper Series 2162, African Development Bank.
    2. Deniz O Igan & Ali M. Kutan & Ali Mirzae, 2016. "Real Effects of Capital Inflows in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 16/235, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Maria Cipollina & Giorgia Giovannetti & Filomena Pietrovito & Alberto F. Pozzolo, 2012. "FDI and Growth: What Cross-country Industry Data Say," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(11), pages 1599-1629, November.
    4. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Selin Sayek, 2009. "FDI, Productivity and Financial Development," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 111-135, January.
    5. Jellal, Mohamed & Bouzahzah, Mohamed, 2012. "Education investissements directs étrangers et croissance économique réflexions pour le maroc
      [Education foreign direct investments and economic growth some thoughts for morocco]
      ," MPRA Paper 38883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wu, Tommy T., 2015. "Firm heterogeneity, trade, multinationals, and growth: A quantitative evaluation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 359-375.
    7. Smith, Katherine A. & Valderrama, Diego, 2009. "The composition of capital inflows when emerging market firms face financing constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 223-234, July.
    8. Ghani, Ejaz, 2012. "Service with a Smile," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 96, pages 1-6, November.
    9. Colen, Liesbeth & Persyn, Damiaan & Guariso, Andrea, 2016. "Bilateral Investment Treaties and FDI: Does the Sector Matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 193-206.
    10. Monnet Gbakou & Mustapha Sadni Jallab & René Sandretto, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment, Macroeconomic Instability And Economic Growth in MENA Countries," Post-Print halshs-00303694, HAL.
    11. Herzer, Dierk & Klasen, Stephan & Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas, 2008. "In search of FDI-led growth in developing countries: The way forward," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 793-810, September.
    12. Gohou, Gaston & Soumaré, Issouf, 2012. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Reduce Poverty in Africa and are There Regional Differences?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 75-95.
    13. repec:eaa:aeinde:v:17:y:2017:i:1_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Gomes, Orlando, 2015. "Optimal resource allocation in a representative investor economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 72-84.
    15. Mmolainyane, Kelesego K. & Ahmed, Abdullahi D., 2015. "The impact of financial integration in Botswana," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 852-874.
    16. repec:agr:journl:v:xxiv:y:2017:i:2(611):p:263-276 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Salvatore Dell’Erba & Dennis Reinhardt, 2011. "Surfing the Capital Waves: A sector-level examination of surges in FDI inflows," Working Papers 11.07, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    18. Guido Baldi & Jakob Miethe, 2015. "Ausländische Direktinvestitionen und Wirtschaftswachstum," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 71, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    19. Nabila Asghar & Samia Nasreen & Hafeez ur Rehman, 2012. "Relationship between FDI and Economic Growth in Selected Asian Countries: A Panel Data Analysis," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 2, pages 84-96, February.
    20. Tam Bang Vu & Ilan Noy, 2007. "Sectoral Analysis of Foreign Investment and Growth In the Developed Countries," Working Papers 200725, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    foreign direct investment; economic growth; industry data; spillovers; instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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