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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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  1. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2005. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 11901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Pierre-Olivier & Olivier Jeanne, 2009. "Capital Flows to Developing Countries: The Allocation Puzzle," Working Paper Series WP09-12, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  7. Oved Yosha & Bent E. Sorensen & Ariell Reshef & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2007. "Why Does Capital Flow to Rich States?," 2007 Meeting Papers 828, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  12. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
  13. M Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 8-62, April.
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  15. Prasad, Eswar & Rajan, Raghuram G. & Subramanian, Arvind, 2007. "Foreign Capital and Economic Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 3186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Joshua Aizenman & Brian Pinto & Artur Radziwill, 2004. "Sources for financing domestic capital - is foreign saving a viable option for developing countries?," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0288, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  17. Holger Görg & David Greenaway, 2004. "Much Ado about Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 171-197.
  18. Menzie David Chinn & Eswar Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries; An Empirical Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/46, International Monetary Fund.
  19. 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.
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  22. Martin Schindler, 2009. "Measuring Financial Integration: A New Data Set," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 222-238, April.
  23. 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.
  24. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  25. Caselli, Francesco, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 4703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Robert S. Chirinko & Debdulal Mallick, 2008. "The Marginal Product of Capital: A Persistent International Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 2399, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Timmer, Marcel P. & Vries, Gaaitzen J. de, 2007. "A Cross-country Database For Sectoral Employment And Productivity in Asia and Latin America, 1950-2005," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-98, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  28. Klasen, Stephan & Herzer, Dierk & Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas, 2007. "In search of FDI-led growth in developing countries," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 14, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  29. Borensztein, E. & De Gregorio, J. & Lee, J-W., 1998. "How does foreign direct investment affect economic growth?1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 115-135, June.
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