The Effects of Financial Development on Foreign Direct Investment

Rodolphe Desbordes, Shang-Jin Wei

NBER Working Paper No. 23309
Issued in April 2017
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

This paper empirically investigates the various effects that source and destination countries’ financial development (SFD and DFD respectively) have on foreign direct investment (FDI).We establish causality by exploiting variations in both country-specific financial development and sector-specific financial vulnerability. This approach is made possible by our use of detailed databases on real manufacturing FDI projects worldwide. We find that both SFD and DFD have a large positive influence on greenfield, expansion, and mergers & acquisitions FDI, by directly increasing access to external finance and indirectly promoting manufacturing activity. The overall economic impacts of SFD and DFD tend to be similar but their direct and indirect effects vary across margins and types of FDI.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23309

Published: Desbordes, Rodolphe & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2017. "The effects of financial development on foreign direct investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 153-168. citation courtesy of

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