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Into the Allocation Puzzle - A Sectoral Analysis

This paper assesses whether the allocation puzzle - the tendency for capital to flow to countries with relatively low productivity growth - is observed for foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, which should be particularly sensitive to productivity prospects. We look both at aggregate FDI flows and, using a new data set, at FDI flows into the main economic sectors. We make three points. First, we do not find evidence of an allocation puzzle for aggregate FDI flows. Second, we refine the aggregate result and document substantial sectoral heterogeneity. An allocation puzzle is observed in the agriculture, construction, mining/petroleum/utilities and tourism sector. By contrast, we show that countries with faster productivity growth in manufacturing attract more investment in that sector. The link is even stronger for service sectors. Third, we document a role for financial openness: a country with fast productivity growth draws in more FDI into its service sectors only when it is financially open. We conclude with a discussion of some tentative explanations for the results.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 10.02.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:1002
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  1. Holger Görg & David Greenaway, 2004. "Much Ado about Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 171-197.
  2. Francesco Caselli, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 10828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert S. Chirinko & Debdulal Mallick, 2008. "The Marginal Product of Capital: A Persistent International Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 2399, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Smarzynska, Beata K., 2002. "Does foreign direct investment increase the productivity of domestic firms : in search of spillovers through backward linkages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2923, The World Bank.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua & Pinto, Brian & Radziwill, Artur, 2007. "Sources for financing domestic capital - Is foreign saving a viable option for developing countries?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 682-702, September.
  6. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Reshef, Ariell & Sørensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 2006. "Why Does Capital Flow to Rich States?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Caballero, Ricardo J & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7xc0g8mm, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  9. Christopher D. Carroll & Olivier Jeanne, 2009. "A Tractable Model of Precautionary Reserves, Net Foreign Assets, or Sovereign Wealth Funds," NBER Working Papers 15228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2004. "Why doesn't capital flow from rich to poor countries? An empirical investigation," 2004 Meeting Papers 53, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Prasad, Eswar & Rajan, Raghuram G. & Subramanian, Arvind, 2007. "Foreign Capital and Economic Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 3186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  13. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  14. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Laura Alfaro & Selin Sayek & Areendam Chanda, 2002. "FDI and Economic Growth: The Role of Local Financial Markets," Macroeconomics 0212007, EconWPA.
  15. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
  16. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Ernesto Stein, 2002. "The Cyclical Nature of North-South FDI Flows," Business School Working Papers quince, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  17. Damiano Sandri, 2010. "Growth and Capital Flows with Risky Entrepreneurship," IMF Working Papers 10/37, International Monetary Fund.
  18. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(2), pages 143-197, June.
  19. Martin Schindler, 2009. "Measuring Financial Integration: A New Data Set," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 222-238, April.
  20. repec:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:2:p:651-697 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Francisco J. Buera & Yongseok Shin, 2009. "Productivity Growth and Capital Flows: The Dynamics of Reforms," NBER Working Papers 15268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Dierk Herzer & Stephan Klasen & Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D., 2006. "In search of FDI-led growth in developing countries," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 150, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  23. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "Capital Flows to Developing Countries: The Allocation Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 13602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Eduardo Borensztein & Jose De Gregorio & Jong-Wha Lee, 1995. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Herzer, Dierk & Klasen, Stephan & Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas, 2008. "In search of FDI-led growth in developing countries: The way forward," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 793-810, September.
  26. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2010. "Growth in the Shadow of Expropriation," 2010 Meeting Papers 1194, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  27. Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2008. "Why are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," IMF Working Papers 08/145, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Robert E. Lipsey, 2002. "Home and Host Country Effects of FDI," NBER Working Papers 9293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Menzie David Chinn & Eswar Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries; An Empirical Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/46, International Monetary Fund.
  30. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  31. Balasubramanyam, V N & Salisu, M & Sapsford, David, 1996. "Foreign Direct Investment and Growth in EP and IS Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 92-105, January.
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