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Why do firms invest abroad? An analysis of the motives underlying Foreign Direct Investments

Author

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  • Chiara Franco
  • Francesco Rentocchini

    ()

  • Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti

    ()

Abstract

Although FDI have been at the forefront of economic debate since a long time, economists have not yet developed a unified framework for their investigation. In this paper, we put forward the idea that an essential point to analyze FDI concerns their underpinning motives. Motives are at the core of FDI and FDI are only but one of different alternative means for firms to grasp an opportunity in a foreign country. We discuss the factors that shape the set of available alternatives and analyze those affecting the decision to engage in FDI (internalization determinants), along with those influencing their localization (local- ization determinants). Starting from Dunning (1993) we put forward a revised taxonomy of FDI motives consistent with this framework { resource seeking, market seeking and non-marketable asset seeking. In order to show its practical implications, we survey common empirical issues on FDI showing how our analysis can shed light on seemingly contradictory empirical results

Suggested Citation

  • Chiara Franco & Francesco Rentocchini & Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti, 2008. "Why do firms invest abroad? An analysis of the motives underlying Foreign Direct Investments," Department of Economics Working Papers 0817, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpde:0817
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Coiteux & Patrick Rizzetto & Lena Suchanek & Jane Voll, 2014. "Why Do Canadian Firms Invest and Operate Abroad? Implications for Canadian Exports," Discussion Papers 14-7, Bank of Canada.
    2. Sandro Montresor & Antonio Vezzani, 2015. "On the R&D giants’ shoulders: do FDI help to stand on them?," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(1), pages 33-60, March.
    3. Bartels, Frank L. & Napolitano, Francesco & Tissi, Nicola E., 2014. "FDI in Sub-Saharan Africa: A longitudinal perspective on location-specific factors (2003–2010)," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 516-529.
    4. Ilona Elzbieta Serwicka & Jonathan Jones & Colin Wren, 2014. "The Motives for the FDI Location Choice in the `Old' and `New' Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa14p255, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Groh, Alexander P. & Wich, Matthias, 2009. "A composite measure to determine a host country's attractiveness for foreign direct investment," IESE Research Papers D/833, IESE Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    FDI determinants; FDI motives; Taxonomy; Foreign Direct Investments;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures

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