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Do bilateral investment treaties increase foreign direct investment to developing countries?

Neumayer, Eric and Spess, Laura (2005) Do bilateral investment treaties increase foreign direct investment to developing countries? World Development, 33 (10). pp. 1567-1585. ISSN 0305-750X

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Abstract

Foreign investors are often skeptical toward the quality of the domestic institutions and the enforceability of the law in developing countries. Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) guarantee certain standards of treatment that can be enforced via binding investor-to-state dispute settlement outside the domestic juridical system. Developing countries accept restrictions on their sovereignty in the hope that the protection from political and other risks leads to an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), which is also the stated purpose of BITs. We provide the first rigorous quantitative evidence that a higher number of BITs raises the FDI that flows to a developing country. This result is very robust to changes in model specification, estimation technique and sample size. There is also some limited evidence that BITs might function as substitutes for good domestic institutional quality, but this result is not robust to different specifications of institutional quality.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev
Additional Information: Published 2005 © Elsevier Ltd. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<http://eprints.lse.ac.uk>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/627/

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