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The effect of foreign direct investment on human capital development in East Asia

Hong Zhuang

Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 2017, vol. 22, issue 2, 195-211

Abstract: East Asia has experienced fast economic growth along with large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) and accumulated human capital since the 1960s. Economic literature suggests a link between FDI and human capital development via technology transfer. This study employs a panel of sample data from 16 East Asian countries from 1985 to 2010 to examine the effect of inward FDI on human capital accumulation. The results show that an increase in foreign presence is associated with an increase in secondary schooling, yet has a negative impact on tertiary schooling. FDI from OECD countries presents positive effects on both secondary and tertiary schooling in East Asian countries. The findings are robust to different measures of educational attainment and different specifications.

Date: 2017
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