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Foreign Direct Investment, Productive Capacity and Exchange Rate Regimes

  • Joshua Aizenman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of foreign direct investment and endogenous capacity choice on the welfare ranking of exchange rate regimes, and to analyze the linkages between volatility of shocks, the volume of trade and investment. We construct an intertemporal version of a monopolistic competitive framework, where producers may diversify internationally by foreign direct investment. Volatility is shown to induce both higher international trade in goods, as well as higher foreign direct investment, with the possibility of increasing the productive capacity in diversified industries. We apply the above framework to the welfare ranking of exchange rate regimes in the presence of nominal contracts. We show that the volatility of employment in the presence of real shocks is lower under a floating exchange rate regime, but that a by-product of the relative stability of employment is a lower expected GNP in a flexible exchange rate regime. Nominal shocks in a floating exchange rate regime are shown to generate international diversification, which leads to a higher capital cost of diversified industries. This effect implies a lower number of? independent producers and of varieties offered, ultimately leading to a lower expected utility of consumption. We show that attempts to reduce foreign direct investment by capital controls will tend to reduce welfare, without affecting our results regarding the ranking of exchange rate regimes. These observations lead us to conclude that volatility effects reduce the relative attractiveness of floating exchange rates. This conclusion applies to both real and nominal shocks.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3767.

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Date of creation: Jul 1991
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Publication status: published as Economica, 1994, Vol. 61, pp. 407-434 "Monetary & Real Shocks, Productive C Rate Regimes"
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3767
Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Richard C. Marston & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1985. "Imported Materials Prices, Wage Policy, and Macro-economic Stabilization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 273-84, May.
  2. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment: An Imperfect Capital Markets Approach," NBER Working Papers 2914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1983. "Wage Indexation and Exchange Market Interventions in a Small Open Economy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(4), pages 574-92, November.
  4. Svensson, Lars E O & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1989. "Excess Capacity, Monopolistic Competition, and International Transmission of Monetary Disturbances," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 785-805, September.
  5. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  6. Aizenman, Joshua, 1989. "Monopolistic competition, relative prices, and output adjustment in the open economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 5-28, March.
  7. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-54, November.
  8. Casella, Alessandra, 1992. "Participation in a Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 847-63, September.
  9. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Wage indexation and macroeconomics stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 107-147, January.
  10. Canzoneri, Matthew B & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1990. "Is the European Community an Optimal Currency Area? Optimal Taxation versus the Cost of Multiple Currencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 419-33, June.
  11. Flood, Robert P & Marion, Nancy Peregrim, 1982. "The Transmission of Disturbances under Alternative Exchange-Rate Regimes with Optimal Indexing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 43-66, February.
  12. Paul De Grauwe, 1988. "Exchange Rate Variability and the Slowdown in Growth of International Trade," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(1), pages 63-84, March.
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