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What gravity models can tell us about the position of German FDI in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Jungnickel, Rolf
  • Borrmann, Christine
  • Keller, Dietmar
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    The tradition of gravity models is in the analysis of trade flows with market size and geographic or economic distance as core variables. Both these variables can be important determinants of FDI, too. However, when such models are used to explain FDI, there can be differences in the mode of operation of these variables so that the interpretation can become uncertain. Market size can reach beyond the host country and distance can be an incentive as well as an impediment to FDI. In the present paper, we use gravity-type models in order to assess the level of German FDI in CEE countries, distinguishing between the four nearby core countries and the other six EU accession countries. Estimates are done both on the basis of an in-sample as well as an out-of-sample approach on the basis of FDI in 81 important host countries. From the various specifications it becomes obvious that (1) beside the size of the host country, the market potential of neighboring countries is an important determinant of the regional structure of German FDI, and (2) the costs of operating at a distance seem to be weighted higher than the advantage of being close to distant markets. Geographic distance seems to be more important than various measures of economic distance. On the whole, gravity-type models seem to be appropriate to explain the regional structure of FDI. However, the results should be interpreted with caution given the extremely wide confidence intervals of the estimates which is a feature of former studies, too.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/19296/1/328.pdf
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    Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 328.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26386
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    Web page: http://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/20
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    1. Simon J. Evenett & Wolfgang Keller, 1996. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," International Trade 9608001, EconWPA, revised 13 Jun 1997.
    2. Ana Paula Africano & Manuela Magalhaes, 2005. "FDI and Trade in Portugal: a gravity analysis," FEP Working Papers 174, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    3. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables & Denise Eby Konan & Kevin H. Zhang, 1996. "A Unified Treatment of Horizontal Direct Investment, Vertical Direct Investment, and the Pattern of Trade in Goods and Services," NBER Working Papers 5696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
    5. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
    6. Kai Carstensen & Farid Toubal, 2003. "Foreign Direct Investment in Central and Eastern European Countries: A Dynamic Panel Analysis," Kiel Working Papers 1143, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    7. Brenton, Paul & Di Mauro, Francesca, 1999. "The Potential Magnitude and Impact of FDI flows to CEECs," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 14, pages 59-74.
    8. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Claudia M. Buch & Robert M. Kokta & Daniel Piazolo, 2001. "Does the East Get What Would Otherwise Flow to the South? FDI Diversion in Europe," Kiel Working Papers 1061, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    10. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
    11. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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