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Welfare Effects of FDI: A Quantitative Analysis

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  • Balazs Zelity

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

Foreign direct investment can increase productivity and wages. However, it is also often accompanied by primary income deficits as foreign-owned firms repatriate their profits. The welfare effects of FDI are thus ambiguous. A particularly illustrative example of this phenomenon are the Visegr´ad 4 (V4) countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia). This paper investigates whether FDI can be beneficial in the presence of profit repatriation using a general equilibrium model calibrated to the V4 economies. Counterfactual simulations suggest that the benefits of FDI outweigh the costs for these countries. On average, a 1% increase in the number of foreign firms is associated with a 0.17% increase in welfare. However, incentivising foreign firms to reinvest more of their profits domestically is, ceteris paribus, welfare-improving. A 10-percentage-point increase in the profit repatriation rate is associated with a 1.06% welfare gain on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Balazs Zelity, 2021. "Welfare Effects of FDI: A Quantitative Analysis," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2021-001, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2021-001
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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/bzelity/2021001_zelity.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    foreign direct investment; primary income flows; profit repatriation;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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