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FDI inflows in Europe: does investment promotion work?

Crescenzi, Riccardo ORCID: 0000-0003-0465-9796, Di Cataldo, Marco and Giua, Mara (2021) FDI inflows in Europe: does investment promotion work? Journal of International Economics, 132. ISSN 1464-3758

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2021.103497


Can active investment promotion efforts attract FDI towards areas and sectors that would not otherwise be targeted? This paper leverages an ad hoc survey on national and sub-national Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in Europe and applies state-of-the-art policy evaluation methods to estimate the impact of IPAs on FDI attraction. The results show that FDI responds to IPAs even in advanced economies. Sub-national IPAs, operating in closer proximity to investors’ operations, attract FDI in particular towards less developed areas where market and institutional failures are stronger. IPAs influence FDI over and above other policies targeting the general economic improvement of the host economies. Impacts are concentrated in knowledge-intensive sectors where collaborative systemic conditions are more relevant. IPAs work best for less experienced companies - ‘occasional’ investors - more likely to suffer from institutional failures. Finally, IPAs are equally effective in attracting companies from both outside and inside the EU Single Market even if the latter are less likely to suffer from regulatory or information asymmetries. Overall, this evidence sheds new light on the role of sub-national IPAs as local ‘institutional plumbers’ in support of foreign investors and their operations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: F - International Economics > F2 - International Factor Movements and International Business > F21 - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
F - International Economics > F2 - International Factor Movements and International Business > F23 - Multinational Firms; International Business
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O2 - Development Planning and Policy > O24 - Trade Policy; Factor Movement Policy; Foreign Exchange Policy
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R5 - Regional Government Analysis > R58 - Regional Development Policy
Date Deposited: 28 May 2021 14:21
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 14:33

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