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FDI and institutional reform in Portugal


  • Paulo Júlio

    () (Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Employment, and NOVA School of Business and Economics)

  • Ricardo Pinheiro-Alves

    () (Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Employment and Instituto de Artes Visuais, Design e Marketing)

  • José Tavares

    () (NOVA School of Business and Economics and Center for Economic Policy Research)


This article analyses the effects of several geographic, economic and institutional factors on bilateral inward FDI in Europe. Moreover, it assesses the required reform effort, and the expected benefits, for Portugal to converge with the EU in the institutional variables that are relevant to attract investment. We conclude that good institutions favouring economic freedom and the ease of doing business, and geography, market size and labor costs, affect bilateral inward FDI. Political risk does not lead to significant differences in FDI across the EU. The results are robust to different methods – principal component analysis, factor-based scores and by considering several institutional indicators successively. We also find that most promising reforms arise in the financial system, corruption, property rights, and in some business regulations associated with starting a business. Increasing labor market flexibility to the EU level has also a large impact on inward FDI, but this reform comes at a comparatively higher effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Júlio & Ricardo Pinheiro-Alves & José Tavares, 2011. "FDI and institutional reform in Portugal," GEE Papers 0040, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Sep 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0040

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreia Olival, 2012. "The influence of Doing Business’ institutional variables in Foreign Direct Investment," GEE Papers 0048, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Dec 2012.
    2. Karama, Dalal, 2014. "Ease of Doing Business: Emphasis on Corruption and Rule of Law," MPRA Paper 58662, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    FDI; Institutional reform; Institutions; Portugal; EU;

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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