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A Race to the Bottom? Employment Protection and Foreign Direct Investment

A common critique of globalization is that it leads to a race to the bottom. This hypothesis assumes that multinationals invest in countries with lower regulatory standards and that countries competitively undercut each other's standards in response. This paper finds empirical evidence of both propositions. First, a reduction in employment protection rules leads to an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI). Not surprisingly, changes in employment protection legislation have a larger impact on the relatively mobile types of FDI. Second, there is evidence that countries are competitively undercutting each other's labor market standards.

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File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/OlneyEmploymentProtectionAndFDI.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Center for Development Economics with number 2011-02.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision: May 2011
Handle: RePEc:wil:wilcde:2011-05
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  1. Gerda Dewit & Holger Görg & Catia Montagna, 2009. "Should I stay or should I go? Foreign direct investment, employment protection and domestic anchorage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 93-110, April.
  2. Tito Boeri & Juan F. Jimeno, 2003. "The Effects of Employment Protection: Learning from Variable Enforcement," Working Papers 252, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. David Roodman, 2009. "How to do xtabond2: An introduction to difference and system GMM in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(1), pages 86-136, March.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua D. Angrist, 2001. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 915-957, October.
  5. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
  6. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Maylis Coupet & Thierry Mayer, 2005. "Institutional Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers 2005-05, CEPII research center.
  7. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2005-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  10. Bruce A. Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," NBER Working Papers 11299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  12. Davies, Ronald B. & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2013. "A race to the bottom in labor standards? An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
  13. Azemar, Celine & Desbordes, Rodolphe, 2009. "Short-Run Strategies For Attracting Foreign Direct Investment," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-27, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  14. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134, February.
  15. Karolina Ekholm & Rikard Forslid & James Markusen, 2003. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 9517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Markusen, James R & Maskus, Keith E, 2002. "Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 694-707, November.
  18. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
  19. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  20. Francisco J. Buera & Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2008. "Learning the Wealth of Nations," NBER Working Papers 14595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Holger Görg, 2005. "Fancy a Stay at the 'Hotel California'? The Role of Easy Entry and Exit for FDI," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 519-535, November.
  22. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  23. Bhagwati, Jagdish, 2007. "In Defense of Globalization: With a New Afterword," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195330939, March.
  24. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 1999. "The consequences of labour market flexibility: Panel evidence based on survey data," ZEI Working Papers B 02-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  25. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  26. David KUCERA, 2002. "Core labour standards and foreign direct investment," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 141(1-2), pages 31-69, 03.
  27. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, December.
  28. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
  29. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
  30. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2003. "The Role of Skill Endowments in the Structure of U.S. Outward Foreign Direct Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 726-734, August.
  31. Martin, Will & Maskus, Keith E, 2001. "Core Labor Standards and Competitiveness: Implications for Global Trade Policy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 317-28, May.
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