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The Location and Characteristics of U.S. Affiliates in Asia

  • Robert E. Lipsey

Market size and growth rates, per capita income, distance from the United States, and tax rates on U.S. affiliates accounted for about half the variation among developing host countries in most aspects of U.S. FDI activity. Residuals from the equations for one period add greatly to the explanatory power of the next period's equations, suggesting that there are long-run characteristics of the host economies, omitted from the equations, that are favorable or unfavorable to U.S. investment and FDI activity. There are considerable differences in the determinants of U.S. FDI activity between industries in which U.S. affiliates are export-oriented, such as machinery, and industries in which the affiliates' sales are mainly local. In the export-oriented industries, market size and distance from the United States were unimportant, and high per capita real income was the most consistent favorable influence. In the industries oriented to local sales, large market size attracted U.S. firms and long distance from the United States discouraged them. Among the ten Asian countries studied, Singapore and Malaysia had the largest U.S. affiliate shares of aggregate output while India, China, and Korea had the smallest. The countries with the largest shares were also those that ranked high on measures of institutional characteristics, including low levels of corruption. Measured by deviations from the equations, however, the relation to the institutional measures was blurred, suggesting that the institutional measures are correlated with the economic characteristics used as explanatory variables in the equations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6876.

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Date of creation: Jan 1999
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Publication status: published as Papers and Proceedings of International Symposium: Foreign Direct Investment in Asia (October 22-23, 1998), Tokyo, Department of Research Cooperatoin, Economic Research Institute, Economic Planning Agency, Government of Japan.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6876
Note: ITI
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  1. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 63, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Robert E. Lipsey & Merle Yahr Weiss, 1974. "The Structure of Ocean Transport Charges," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 1, Number 1, pages 162-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kravis, Irving B. & Lipsey, Robert E., 1982. "The location of overseas production and production for export by U.S. multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3-4), pages 201-223, May.
  4. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  5. Wheeler, David & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "International investment location decisions : The case of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 57-76, August.
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