Marina Azzimonti

Economics Department
Stony Brook University
100 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: POL , EFG
NBER Affiliation: Research Associate

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2016The Politics of FDI Expropriation
I examine the role of political instability as a potential explanation for the lack of capital flows from rich countries to poor countries (i.e. the `Lucas Paradox'). Using panel data from 1984 to 2014, I document the following: (i) developed countries exhibit larger inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI), (ii) countries subject to high investment risk are those that typically receive low FDI inflows, and (iii) investment risk is generally higher in fractionalized and politically unstable economies. These findings suggest a negative relationship between political instability and FDI through the investment risk channel. I then inspect the theoretical mechanism using a dynamic political-economy model of redistribution, wherein policymakers have access to an expropriation technology that ...
June 2016Does Partisan Conflict Deter FDI Inflows to the US?
I analyze the effects of political uncertainty on foreign direct investment flows to the US using a novel indicator, the partisan conflict index (PCI). Partisan conflict is relevant for the evolution of cross-border capital flows because the expected returns on investment projects are less predictable when the timing, size, and composition of fiscal policy is uncertain. The partisan conflict index tracks the evolution of political disagreement among policymakers as reported by the media. Using aggregate quarterly data from 1985 to 2015, I show that an innovation of the PCI is associated with a significant decline in FDI flows to the US. The magnitude of the effect is similar when disaggregated data from a panel of parent countries is considered instead.
June 2015Partisan Conflict and Private Investment
American politics have been characterized by a high degree of partisan conflict in recent years. Combined with a divided government, this has led not only to significant Congressional gridlock, but also to spells of high fiscal policy uncertainty. The unusually slow recovery from the Great Recession during the same period suggests the possibility that the two phenomena may be related. In this paper, I investigate the hypothesis that political discord depresses private investment. To this end, I construct a novel high- frequency indicator of partisan conflict. The partisan conflict index (PCI) uses a semantic search methodology to measure the frequency of newspaper articles reporting lawmakers' disagreement about policy. I find a negative relationship between the PCI and aggregate investmen...
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