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Survey Article: Publication Bias in the Literature on Foreign Direct Investment Spillovers

Tomas Havranek () and Zuzana Irsova ()

Journal of Development Studies, 2012, vol. 48, issue 10, 1375-1396

Abstract: In this article we conduct a large quantitative survey of the literature on horizontal and vertical spillovers from foreign direct investment (FDI). We create a unique database of spillover estimates for each country examined in the literature. Next, we estimate the average effect corrected for publication selection bias (the preferential selection of positive and significant estimates for publication). Our results suggest that an average reported estimate of backward spillovers is statistically significant. Publication selection is evident only among studies published in peer-reviewed journals, and only among the estimates that authors consider most important. Authors with small data sets engage in more publication selection. The intensity of selection in the literature decreases over time, which supports the economics-research-cycle hypothesis.

Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2012.685721

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