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Export Platform Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence

Discussion Papers

No.378

by ITO Tadashi
December 2012

ABSTRACT

This paper proposes a model that accounts for “export platform” FDI – a form of FDI that is common in the data but rarely discussed in the theoretical literature. Unlike the previous literature, this paper’s theory nests all the typical modes of supply, including exports, horizontal and vertical FDI, horizontal and vertical export platform FDI. The theory yields the testable hypothesis that a decrease in either inter-regional or intra-regional trade costs induces firms to choose export platform FDI. The empirical analysis provides descriptive statistics which point to large proportions of third country exports of US FDI, and an econometric analysis, whose results are in line with the model’s predictions. The last section suggests policy implications for nations seeking to attract FDI.


Keywords: Export platform FDI
JEL classification: F12, F15, F23

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Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.