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Into the Allocation Puzzle - A sectoral analysis

This paper assesses whether the allocation puzzle - the tendency for capital to flow to countries with relatively low productivity growth - is observed for foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, which should be particularly sensitive to productivity prospects. We look both at aggregate FDI flows and, using a new data set, at FDI flows into the main economic sectors. We make three points. First, we do not find evidence of an allocation puzzle for aggregate FDI flows. Second, we refine the aggregate result and document substantial sectoral heterogeneity. An allocation puzzle is observed in the agriculture, construction, mining/petroleum/utilities and tourism sector. By contrast, we show that countries with faster productivity growth in manufacturing attract more investment in that sector. The link is even stronger for service sectors. Third, we document a role for financial openness: a country with fast productivity growth draws in more FDI into its service sectors only when it is financially open. We conclude with a discussion of some tentative explanations for the results.

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Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 14-2010.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 17 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp14-2010
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  18. Robert S. Chirinko & Debdulal Mallick, 2008. "The Marginal Product of Capital: A Persistent International Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 2399, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of Global Imbalances and Low Interest Rates," 2006 Meeting Papers 894, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  22. V N Balasubramanyam & M Salisu & David Sapsford., . "Foreign Direct Investment and Growth in EP and IS Countries," Working Papers ec18/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  23. Görg, Holger & Greenaway, David, 2003. "Much Ado About Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," IZA Discussion Papers 944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Levy Yeyati, Eduardo & Panizza, Ugo & Stein, Ernesto, 2007. "The cyclical nature of North-South FDI flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 104-130, February.
  25. 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.
  26. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  27. Menzie David Chinn & Eswar S Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries; An Empirical Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/46, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Martin Schindler, 2009. "Measuring Financial Integration: A New Data Set," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 222-238, April.
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