The Location Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment
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Publication date: 2010-04-30
GNPJE 2010;239(4):89-111
The paper reviews empirical studies on how various location factors influence foreign direct investment (FDI). The author focuses on some recent research and takes into account determinants such as market size, market growth, labor costs, labor quality, openness to trade, geographic distance, taxes, country risk, and corruption. These factors do not represent a closed set of factors that affect FDI location decisions, but are most frequently considered, Wawrzyniak says. Research theories list many factors that can influence the location of FDI. These include economic determinants (that depend on the type of FDI) as well as the policy framework for FDI and business facilitation. Moreover, these FDI determinants tend to change over time, Wawrzyniak says, and some of them, such as privatization of transition economies, are particularly important to some countries and regions. Empirical studies on the impact of various determinants on the location of FDI are inconclusive because different authors have reported different results. Some researchers say that a specific factor has a positive influence on FDI, while others argue the opposite. Still others believe that this particular factor is statistically insignificant. However, not all the potential determinants of FDI are equally controversial, Wawrzyniak says. The results of empirical research on different location factors show a varying level of consistency. They are generally more consistent in the case of factors such as market size and less consistent in the case of labor costs, for example.
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