Export-Oriented FDI, the Euro, and EU Enlargement
Since 1999, the UK’s share of FDI heading into Europe has declined dramatically, while the Euro-Zone’s share has increased. I argue that the timing of this divergence is not coincidental. The formation of the Euro-Zone has eliminated nominal exchange rate volatility between member-states, increasing export market access intra-union. For source countries outside of Europe, Euro-Zone countries have become more attractive destinations for export-oriented FDI, as operations within the union are insulated from currency fluctuations. As exchange rate volatility between a non-Euro country and local export markets increases, or as the market size of the euro-zone increases, more and more investment will be diverted towards Euro-Zone countries. This theory is tested in two stages using detailed data on the operations of foreign affiliates of US multinationals across seventeen European countries from 1983 – 2004. A host country’s export market access is first estimated with an augmented gravity model. This export series is then included in a dynamic panel with US to host market exchange rate volatility and a range of FDI determinants to explain inflows of FDI from the US to European countries. Potential endogeneity issues are addressed using the Arellano and Bond (1991) GMM procedure. The ability to export from a particular host country has a positive and significant effect on inflows of FDI. Additionally, unobserved features of Euro-Zone membership (beyond the elimination of currency risk) have a positive effect on inflows. A counterfactual experiment sheds light on how much FDI the UK “lost” by not adopting the euro in 1999. Re-estimating the trade and FDI relations under the assumption that the UK had adopted the euro, I estimate that the UK has lost approximately $33 billion (2% of GDP) worth of FDI from the US. Similarly, the flight of FDI to the new EU accession countries has been slowed by these countries staying out of the Euro-Zone.
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