Eugenio Cerutti, Haonan Zhou, 09 February 2018

Chinese banks have continued to expand rapidly both domestically and abroad. Together, they constitute the largest banking sector in the world by far. This column places the Chinese banking system in a global context. Although very small relative to their domestic claims, Chinese banks’ foreign claims are substantial for many borrower countries in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean in particular. Many of these banking connections are related to Chinese outward foreign direct investment, with fewer related to trade linkages.

Kazunobu Hayakawa, Toshiyuki Matsuura, 09 July 2017

Foreign direct investment has generally been found to have positive effects for firms in their home country. There are, however, concerns about potential negative effects for other domestic firms in the investing firm’s supply chain. This column uses Japanese firm-level data to explore the supply chain effects of foreign direct investment. Foreign direct investment does not appear to have adverse effects on domestic transaction networks. Rather, the positive effects of firms’ foreign investing are found to spread to the whole economy through their supply chains.

Randolph Bruno, Nauro Campos, Saul Estrin, 25 May 2017

The economic effects of foreign direct investment are generally expected to be positive for the host economy. However, this is usually conditional on certain thresholds of development being met, for instance in terms of human capital or institutional quality. This column argues that the economic impact of foreign direct investment is less ‘conditional’ than commonly thought, perhaps because below the thresholds, the difference between private and social returns is substantial, while above them it is smaller.

Konrad Burchardi, Thomas Chaney, Tarek Hassan, 12 November 2016

The economic effects of the unprecedented levels of international migrations over the past few years are at the centre of political debates about immigration policy. This column evaluates the causal effect of migration on foreign direct investment using immigration patterns to the US going back to the 19th century. Foreign direct investment is found to follow the paths of historical migrants as much as it follows differences in productivity, tax rates, and education. The results suggest a mechanism of information flow facilitation, and that the effect of ancestry on foreign direct investment is very long-lasting.

Jean-Marc Fournier, 26 May 2016

The limits of the European Single Market have often been highlighted. This column argues that although implicit barriers remain, the Single Market has delivered substantial benefits to member countries. New empirical evidence is presented of the trade and FDI gains that Central and Eastern European countries have enjoyed since joining the Single Market. On top of making regulations more competition-friendly, regulatory harmonisation can boost the economic links between countries. 

Randolph Bruno, Nauro Campos, Saul Estrin, Meng Tian, 05 May 2016

The current Brexit debate has highlighted questions about the benefits and costs of EU membership. This column considers the effect of membership on foreign direct investment (FDI). Using several measures, EU membership is found to increase FDI inflows by 14–38% between 1985 and 2013. These results support arguments for economic integration, and indicate that, like international trade, FDI is a key channel through which payoffs are delivered.

Nils Herger, Steve McCorriston, 31 January 2016

A key feature of globalisation over the last three decades has been the wave-like growth of foreign direct investment. This column shows that conglomerate cross-border acquisitions, which are closely associated with mispricing in financial markets, play a significant role in explaining these developments.

Rui Albuquerque, Miguel Ferreira, Luis Brandao-Marques, Pedro Matos, 17 January 2016

Previous research has shown that the corporate governance practices of firms are constrained by the legal standards of their country of incorporation. This column explores how an active international market for corporate control can substitute for weak institutions in a host country. Using firm-level data from 22 countries, it shows how cross-border M&A activity improves the governance of non-target firms in the same industry, via peer pressure. These findings provide evidence for corporate governance improvements as a novel positive spillover from FDI.

Nicolas Magud, Sebastián Sosa, 13 May 2015

Emerging markets are not the hot investment prospect they used to be. This column estimates that weaker private investment in these nations is a slowdown after a period of boom rather than an outright slump. Prospects for a recovery of business investment, however, are not promising. Commodity prices are expected to remain weak and external financial conditions are set to become tighter. 

Yasuyuki Todo, 11 May 2013

Japan looks set to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Reflecting the current debate in Japan, this column assesses what effect the Partnership will have on Japan’s growth. Evidence suggests that the economic effects may be far bigger than the current consensus suggests.

Yasuyuki Todo, 07 June 2012

How do firms go international? This column reviews evidence from industrialised and emerging economies, including Japan and China, with some surprising findings.

Andreas Haufler, Ferdinand Mittermaier, 25 October 2011

If there is a thing that most policymakers are happy to receive, no matter where they are in the world, it is foreign direct investment. But how do you attract companies to your country if unionisation is pushing up wages? Surprisingly, countries with strong unions have been relatively successful. This column explains how.

Mariya Aleksynska, Olena Havrylchyk, 22 September 2011

Foreign direct investment is a vital tool for building infrastructure and raising economic activity in the world’s poorer countries. This column describes the emergence of FDI between developing and transition economies (the South). It argues that these are different from traditional North-South flows. Although investors from the South are sometimes deterred by countries that have bad institutions, this is often outweighed by the presence of natural resources.

Holger Görg, Christiane Krieger-Boden, 09 June 2011

The global financial crisis has raised the threat of protectionism. This column argues that the worst offenders will suffer a drop in foreign direct investment inflows.

Aoife Hanley, Wan-Hsin Liu, Andrea Vaona, 24 March 2011

A decade ago economic theory might have suggested that Chinese innovation would be “piggybacking” on the West, taking advantage of the widely available machines and equipment imported from those economies. But using data for 2001 to 2008, this column finds that while foreign investment may once have fuelled technological advancement, it has lost ground to domestic financing channelled within a stronger and ever-improving Chinese financial system.

Nicolas Véron, 19 January 2011

With emerging and oil-rich economies increasingly investing in European companies, some have proposed modifying the EU’s stance on foreign investment for reasons of geopolitical security. But this often is a guise for protecting narrow political interests, particularly as unemployment rises. This column calls for a clear and consistent legal framework to avoid the dangerous extremes of complete closure and complete, unchecked openness.

Holger Görg, Aoife Hanley, Eric Strobl, 05 October 2010

A chief concern for countries aiming to attract investment is how it will trickle down to the local economy. This column presents evidence on the effect of government grants to foreign companies investing in Ireland between 1983 and 2002. It finds that the grants had little effect on generating supply links with local firms and argues that governments should instead work towards reducing partner search costs.

Lucian Cernat, Kay Parplies, 16 July 2010

While China is recognised as one of the world's leading destinations for inward foreign direct investment, outward investment by Chinese companies has also taken off in recent years. This column presents survey data suggesting that, similar to western firms, Chinese companies tend to invest in well-developed countries with a large market size and a favourable institutional environment.

Johan Mathisen, Srobona Mitra, 25 May 2010

In contrast to much of the emerging world, capital inflows to emerging Europe continue to be weak and mixed. How should the region ensure a healthy level of foreign investment while preventing excessive capital inflows and improving the stability of the financial sector? This column argues a comprehensive policy response is needed and recommendations should be tailored to country-specific circumstances.

Peter Debaere, Joonhyung Lee , Myungho Paik, 03 June 2009

Gains from agglomeration may explain why investors choose the same location when going abroad, but why do firms from the same country cluster together? This column examines evidence from South Korean firms investing in China and finds that investors of the same nationality benefit from stronger forward and backward linkages with each other.

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