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Estimating the Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment Inflows: How Important are Sampling and Omitted Variable Biases?

  • Kinoshita, Yuko



  • Campos, Nauro F.


This paper investigates the importance of factor endowment vis-à-vis institutions in explaining the locational choice of foreign investors during the 1990s. Using dynamic panel estimation on data for transition economies, we find that low labour costs, bureaucratic efficiency (“institutions”), agglomeration economies and natural resource abundance are key factors explaining foreign investors’ decisions. However, sampling proves fundamental as these overall determinants mask deep and, so far empirically unexplored, differences between groups of recipient countries. For example, for the former Soviet Union economies we estimate that labour costs are no longer crucial, but abundance of natural resources and (interestingly) lower levels of human capital are. For Eastern Europe, we find that external liberalisation (one aspect of economic reform) is crucial in foreign investor’s decisions. The main message is that minimising sampling biases and accounting for previously omitted variables yields a different, much richer picture than previously available.

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Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 10/2004.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2004_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
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