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Foreign direct investment and entrepreneurship: Does the role of institutions matter?

Ly Slesman, Yazid Abdullahi Abubakar and Jay Mitra

International Business Review, 2021, vol. 30, issue 4

Abstract: Development economics, international business, and entrepreneurship literature suggest that foreign direct investment (FDI) has significant positive spillover effects for entrepreneurial activities of host economies. However, the findings of past research are mixed, and they do not always confirm this suggestion. We argue that the reason for conflicting findings may be because of an incomplete understanding of the factors that influence the FDI-entrepreneurship nexus in different contexts. Previous studies have carried out only limited exploration of the contingencies in the FDI and domestic entrepreneurship relationship that may depend on the host country’s institutional capacity. We argue that not all countries can reap the rewards from FDI equally. Rather, we hypothesize that countries need to have a sufficient degree of institutional capacity relevant to specific conditions and appropriate threshold levels to successfully capture the positive spillover effects of FDI on domestic entrepreneurship. Utilizing panel data from 2006 to 2016 for 97 emerging markets, developing and developed countries (at different income levels), and a System Generalized Method of Moments (SGMM) estimator that controls for instrument proliferation in dealing with endogeneity problems, we test this hypothesis. We find that FDI has a negative (crowding-out) effect on domestic entrepreneurship at below-threshold levels of institutional capacity, and a positive (crowding-in) effect at above-threshold levels of institutional capacity. The crowding-out effect diminishes as the institutional capacity changes or improves to meet mutating economic environment conditions. Our findings are robust across a wide range of aggregate and disaggregate measures of different types of institutions and alternative empirical strategies.

Keywords: Institutions; Governance; FDI; Entrepreneurship; Dynamic panel model; System GMM; Non-linear panel threshold model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F23 L26 O17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2020.101774

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