Can FDI Promote Export Diversification and Sophistication of Host Countries? Dynamic Panel System GMM Analysis

Discussion Papers


by IWAMOTO Manabu and NABESHIMA Kaoru

March 2012


Recent trade literature highlights the importance of export diversification and upgrading in fostering faster and sustainable economic growth. This study investigates the impact of FDI inflow and stock on the level of export diversification and sophistication in host country’s export baskets. By utilizing the dynamic panel data model, we find that the five-year lagged FDI inflow correlates positively with both export diversification and sophistication, and FDI stock makes the positive contribution to export sophistication. These findings provide support for the possibility of successful capabilities transfer to and building by local firms. We also find that these positive impacts of FDI exist only in developing countries.

Keywords: FDI, export diversification, export sophistication, capabilities transfer
JEL classification: F21, F10, O14

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