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Foreign direct investment and wages: a cross-country analysis

Munisamy Gopinath and Weiyan Chen

The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, 2003, vol. 12, issue 3, 285-309

Abstract: While globalization has led to overall economic growth in a number of countries, questions abound on its distributional effects, especially on rising wage inequality across nations. The main objective of this study is to investigate empirically the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on wages in a cross-country setting. We investigate the general equilibrium propositions that capital inflows (outflows) increase (lower) wages in host (home) countries due to the change in relative factor endowments. We also explore whether capital inflows have differential impacts on skilled and unskilled wages in developing economies. Time-series data on 26 countries, 15 developed and 11 developing, are used to fit the labour share equation derived from a translog GNP function with net FDI stock as one of its arguments. Results confirm that capital movement brings about a cross-country convergence of wages. However, there is some evidence that inward FDI flows increase the wage gap between skilled and unskilled workers in developing countries.

Keywords: Factor prices; foreign direct investment; convergence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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