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How Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Economic Growth? Exploring The Effects Of Financial Markets On Linkages

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  • Kalemli-Özcan, Sebnem
  • Chanda, Areendam
  • Alfaro, Laura
  • Sayek, Selin

Abstract

The empirical literature finds mixed evidence on the existence of positive productivity externalities in the host country generated by foreign multinational companies. We propose a mechanism that emphasizes the role of local financial markets in enabling foreign direct investment (FDI) to promote growth through backward linkages, shedding light on this empirical ambiguity. In a small open economy, final goods production is carried out by foreign and domestic firms, which compete for skilled labor, unskilled labor, and intermediate products. To operate a firm in the intermediate goods sector, entrepreneurs must develop a new variety of intermediate good, a task that requires upfront capital investments. The more developed the local financial markets, the easier it is for credit constrained entrepreneurs to start their own firms. The increase in the number of varieties of intermediate goods leads to positive spillovers to the final goods sector. As a result financial markets allow the backward linkages between foreign and domestic firms to turn into FDI spillovers. Our calibration exercises indicate that a) holding the extent of foreign presence constant, financially well-developed economies experience growth rates that are almost twice those of economies with poor financial markets, b) increases in the share of FDI or the relative productivity of the foreign firm leads to higher additional growth in financially developed economies compared to those observed in financially under-developed ones, and c) other local conditions such as market structure and human capital are also important for the effect of FDI on economic growth.

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  • Kalemli-Özcan, Sebnem & Chanda, Areendam & Alfaro, Laura & Sayek, Selin, 2007. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Economic Growth? Exploring The Effects Of Financial Markets On Linkages," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 28, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec07:6551
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    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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