IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Spanning the Institutional Abyss: The Intergovernmental Network and the Governance of Foreign Direct Investment

  • Juan Alcacer


    (Harvard Business School, Strategy Unit)

  • Paul Ingram


    (Columbia Business School, Columbia University)

Registered author(s):

    Global economic transactions such as foreign direct investment must extend over an institutional abyss between the jurisdiction, and therefore protection, of the states involved. Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), whose members are states, represent an important attempt to span this abyss. IGOs are mandated variously to smooth economic transactions, facilitate global cooperation, and promote cultural contact and awareness. We use a network approach to demonstrate that the connections between two countries through joint-membership in the same IGOs are associated with a large positive influence on the foreign direct investment that flows between them. Moreover, we show that this effect occurs not only in the case of IGOs that focus on economic issues, but also on those with social and cultural mandates. This demonstrates that relational governance is important and feasible in the global context, and for the most risky transactions. Finally we examine the interdependence between the IGO network and the domestic institutions of states. The interdependence between these global and domestic institutional forms is complex, with target-country democracy being a substitute for economic IGOs, but a complement for social and cultural IGOs.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-045.

    in new window

    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-045
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163
    Phone: 617.495.6000
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. repec:att:wimass:9713 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1998. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 6773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Simon J. Evenett & Wolfgang Keller, 1996. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," International Trade 9608001, EconWPA, revised 13 Jun 1997.
    4. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    5. Portes, Richard & Rey, Hélène, 1999. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 2225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Edward E. Leamer & James Levinsohn, 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: the effect is large," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 449-461, October.
    9. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2005. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange," CEPR Discussion Papers 4837, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
    11. Helliwell, John F, 2002. "Measuring the Width of National Boarders," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 517-24, August.
    12. Arvind Subramanian & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," NBER Working Papers 10024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. John F. Helliwell, 1997. "National Borders, Trade and Migration," NBER Working Papers 6027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 202-31, April.
    15. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
    16. Teece, David J., 1986. "Transactions cost economics and the multinational enterprise An Assessment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-45, March.
    17. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
    18. Schneider, Friedrich & Frey, Bruno S., 1985. "Economic and political determinants of foreign direct investment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 161-175, February.
    19. Rietveld, Piet & Janssen, Leon, 1990. "Telephone Calls and Communication Barriers: The Case of the Netherlands," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 307-18.
    20. Li, Quan & Resnick, Adam, 2003. "Reversal of Fortunes: Democratic Institutions and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to Developing Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(01), pages 175-211, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-045. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.