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Does Lax Environmental Regulation Attract FDI When Accounting For "Third-Country" Effects?

This paper investigates if differences in environmental regulations can influence FDI flows in a multi-country setting taking into account the so-called "third-country" effects. We examine bilateral FDI flows using a new extended OECD investment database which covers great number of host countries and a long sample period (1981-2005). The findings based on a spatial gravity-like model are largely plausible across specifications and confirm the existence of a negative relationship between FDI and environmental stringency, once we correct for endogeneity and spatial dependence. The evidence of a positive "third-country" effect for FDI suggests the prevalence of complex FDI from developed to developing countries. The spatial structure of the model allows also to underline the possible existence of competition in environmental standards between countries to attract FDI.

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Paper provided by IRENE Institute of Economic Research in its series IRENE Working Papers with number 08-01.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Handle: RePEc:irn:wpaper:08-01
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