18/2010 Torfinn Harding and Beata S Javorcik
As red tape in host countries and information asymmetries constitute a significant obstacle to investment flows across international borders, an important policy question is: what can aspiring FDI destinations do to reduce such barriers? This study uses newly collected data on 124 countries to examine the effects of investment promotion on inflows of US FDI. We test whether sectors explicitly targeted by investment promotion agencies in their efforts to attract FDI receive more investment in the post-targeting period, relative to the pre-targeting period and non-targeted sectors. The results of our analysis are consistent with investment promotion leading to higher FDI flows to countries in which red tape and information asymmetries are likely to be severe. The data suggest that investment promotion works in developing countries but not in industrialised economies.
Culture and Development
The Economic Journal