Foreign Direct Investment (National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report)

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9780226266213: Foreign Direct Investment (National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report)

Over the past decade, foreign direct investment (FDI) around the world has nearly tripled, and with this surge have come dramatic shifts in FDI flows. In Foreign Direct Investment, distinguished economists look at changes in FDI, including historical trends, specific country experiences, developments in the semiconductor industry, and variations in international mergers and acquisitions.

Chapters cover such topics as theoretical accounts of FDI patterns, the growth of multinational enterprises, and the FDI experiences of Japan, the United States, and selected developing countries. This volume will interest economists, government officials, and business people concerned with FDI today.

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Over the past decade, foreign direct investment (FDI) around the world has nearly tripled, and with this surge have come dramatic shifts in FDI flows. The United States, traditionally a major investor abroad, has become the foremost host of FDI from other countries such as England, Japan, and Germany. In Foreign Direct Investment, distinguished economists look at changes in FDI, including historical trends, specific country experiences, developments in the semiconductor industry, and variations in international mergers and acquisitions. The first three chapters examine theoretical accounts of FDI patterns, the growth of multinational enterprises, and the influence of exchange rates and trade barriers on FDI. Chapter 1 suggests that multinational enterprises (MNEs) might be growing because of increasing integration of world markets, growing similarity of national markets, improved communications technology, and developing symmetry in international technological capabilities. Chapter 2 considers the influence of exchange rates and trade barriers on FDI, proposing that when exchange rates fluctuate widely, MNEs have an advantage over domestic firms because of their ability to shift marginal production and sales in response to changing exchange rates. This chapter suggests that domestic firms are better suited than MNEs to take advantage of trade barriers through domestic investment. Chapter 3 explores changes in MNEs over the last 40 years and forecasts that MNEs will grow in importance in future world trade. The second group of essays consists of country studies. Chapter 4 looks at FDI in Japan and argues that Japan's inbound FDI is low because of barriers to entry, not because of lowforeign demand. The next essay focuses on the FDI experience of the United States over the past three decades, charting the growth of foreign ownership in the United States, particularly the increase in Japanese ownership. Chapter 6 considers the role of "mobil exporters" companies from relatively high-income developing countries, such as Indonesia, that seek low-cost installations to access third-country markets. Chapter 7 investigates FDI in semiconductors and compares the developments in a specific industry with those on a country and worldwide basis. The last two chapters cover changes in international mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Chapter 8 looks at M&A among eleven major industrialized countries between 1985 and 1990 and finds that regulations of intercorporate investment reduce cross-border flows. The final chapter examines foreign M&A in the United States from 1974 to 1990. This study finds that foreign investors tend to purchase U.S. firms with higher growth potential than domestics do. This volume presents a valuable overview of the impact of FDI in the past decade in the United States and abroad, and it will interest economists, government officials, and business people concerned with FDI today.

About the Author:

Kenneth A. Froot is professor of business administration at Harvard University Graduate School of Business and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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