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Explaining Heterogeneity in the Effect of the Exchange Rate and Exchange Rate Volatility on Foreign Direct Investment: A Meta‐Analysis Approach

Warren Moraghen, Boopen Seetanah and Noor Sookia

African Development Review, 2019, vol. 31, issue 3, 275-291

Abstract: This study examines the effect of exchange rate and exchange rate volatility on foreign direct investment (FDI) by using a meta‐analysis. We filter out publication bias within the 1,329 estimates, pooled from 101 studies and employ Bayesian Model Averaging to reduce model uncertainty and explain the existing heterogeneity. The results reveal that the exchange rate system, estimation characteristics, and the modeling approach have an important and noticeable influence on the statistical significance and direction of the estimates. On one hand, the impact of exchange rate volatility is relatively lower in countries with higher trade openness, human capital and better protection of intellectual property rights. On the other hand, greater geographical distance and technology gap between the host and the home economy are associated with greater uncertainty and thus accentuate the negative causality between exchange rate volatility and FDI. Such sensitivities suggest that greater emphasis should be placed on reporting estimates of the impact of the exchange rate and its volatility on FDI across a variety of methodological characteristics and specification and estimation choices.

Date: 2019
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