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An Analysis of Host Country Characteristics that Determine FDI in Developing Countries: Recent Panel Data Evidence

Muhammad Majeed () and Eatzaz Ahmad ()
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Eatzaz Ahmad: Department of Economics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

Lahore Journal of Economics, 2009, vol. 14, issue 2, 71-96

Abstract: This paper analyzes a range of host country characteristics that determine foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to developing countries, using panel data on 72 countries for the period 1970-2008. Keeping in view the endogeneity problem of the chosen host country’s characteristics, the model is estimated using the General Method of Moments (GMM) technique. The analysis shows that gross domestic product (GDP), economic growth, and per capita income positively affect FDI—a result consistent with the market-seeking behavior of multinational corporations (MNCs). Furthermore, we find that remittances have a significant and positive impact on FDI. On the other hand, inflation and the balance of payments deficit have negative effects on FDI. MNCs are attracted to host countries that are outward looking and follow trade-promoting policies. This is confirmed by the positive effect of openness on FDI flows to developing countries. The study also finds that the effect of military expenditures on FDI is negative and significant. Finally, our analysis finds that the real exchange rate has a significantly negative impact on FDI.

Keywords: Investment; panel data; developing countries; FDI; GMM. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:lje:journl:v:14:y:2009:i:2:p:71-96