Essays on Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries
thesisposted on 28.03.2012, 11:55 by Mumtaz Hussain Shah
The first chapter assesses the relative importance of WTO accession in general and that of its three major components, that is, TRIMS, TRIPS and liberalisation in particular in increasing a developing country’s attractiveness for overseas investors. Using annual data for a panel of 90 developing countries over the years 1980-2007, I found that trade and investment liberalization, removal of market distortions through TRIMS, strengthening and worldwide harmonisation of IPR standards through TRIPS adds to a developing country’s ability to host additional FDI. Consistent with the prediction of the market size hypothesis, population is found to have a significant positive effect on inward FDI. WTO membership, agglomeration and sound macroeconomic management have plausible significant effects on FDI inflows. Traditional FDI factors such as infrastructure availability, financial development and education, though regarded as important location determinants, are not robust with respect to alternative proxies and specification of the estimating model. Language and geographic location dummies confirm that foreign firms prefer Anglophones, and are reluctant to invest in South Asia and Francophone countries. In the second chapter, I investigate the effects of linkage factors with OECD countries on FDI inflows into leading/emerging developing countries. I use the standard gravity model approach, utilising annual data for 12 developing host and 16 OECD source countries from 1990 to 2007, to demonstrate that the increased association between a developed and a developing country is associated with large positive foreign direct investment inflows to the developing country. I found that a bilateral investment treaty, trade agreement and adherence to intellectual property rights conventions/treaties, results in increased FDI inflows, and are increasing with market size of the partners and their geographical proximity to each other. Moreover, I have shown that this effect occurs not only in case of bilateral accords but also multilateral and global pacts involving other countries, signalling increased commitment of the host country to potential overseas investors. However, their effect is more profound when the source and host countries are both members of/adhere to the same pact. These findings are found to be robust across different estimation techniques, model specifications and alternate proxies for variables1 Finally, in the third chapter, I explore the effects of corruption and political and economic institutions on foreign direct investment inflows in five South Asian nations, that is, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Owing to the long-term relationship with the host, strong institutions and absence of corruption and bureaucratic intervention are crucial location advantages of host countries, especially for those which lack abundant natural resources to attract foreign investors like the SAARC economies. For a thorough analysis, I exploited not only the aggregate measures of institutional strength from Fraser Institute, Polity IV and Freedom House from 1970-2009 but also the disaggregated clearly focused set of institutional measures from the Political Risk Services, that are, the sub-components of the International Country Risk Guide for 1984-2008. I found that changes in the institutional variables do not have an overall significant positive impact on FDI when aggregate measures of institutional efficiency are employed. However, when these collective measures are disaggregated to a more clearly focused set of factors, their increased effectiveness leads to additional FDI inflows at least for some indicators.