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Why do firms invest abroad? An analysis of the motives underlying Foreign Direct Investments

Chiara Franco, Francesco Rentocchini and Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti ()

No 817, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia

Abstract: Although FDI have been at the forefront of economic debate since a long time, economists have not yet developed a unified framework for their investigation. In this paper, we put forward the idea that an essential point to analyze FDI concerns their underpinning motives. Motives are at the core of FDI and FDI are only but one of different alternative means for firms to grasp an opportunity in a foreign country. We discuss the factors that shape the set of available alternatives and analyze those affecting the decision to engage in FDI (internalization determinants), along with those influencing their localization (local- ization determinants). Starting from Dunning (1993) we put forward a revised taxonomy of FDI motives consistent with this framework { resource seeking, market seeking and non-marketable asset seeking. In order to show its practical implications, we survey common empirical issues on FDI showing how our analysis can shed light on seemingly contradictory empirical results

Keywords: FDI determinants; FDI motives; Taxonomy; Foreign Direct Investments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F21 F23 L23 L24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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