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Democracy and FDI

  • Busse, Matthias

Many believe that multinational enterprises insensitively ignore political rights and civil liberties in the countries of their investments. Frequently, non-governmental organisations accuse multinationals of fostering repressive regimes in developing countries and consider foreign direct investment (FDI) as a tool of exploitation. This paper tries to examine empirically the complex relationship between democracy and FDI in a systematic way, using cross-sectional and panel data analysis. The results indicate that – on average – investments by multinationals are significantly higher in democratic countries, thereby refuting the hypothesis that political repression fosters FDI. Yet this positive link does not hold for the 1970s, when a considerable share of FDI flowed to countries with repressive regimes.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 220.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26260
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  1. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Kimberly Ann Elliott & Tess Cyrus & Elizabeth Winston, 1997. "US Economic Sanctions: Their Impact on Trade, Jobs, and Wages," Working Paper Series Working Paper Special (2), Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1990. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: 2nd Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 82, May.
  3. Philipp Harms & Heinrich Ursprung, 2001. "Do Civil and Political Repression Really Boost Foreign Direct Investments?," CESifo Working Paper Series 421, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. John F. Helliwell, 1992. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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