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Abstract

Many argue about which policy and non-policy variables play an important role in influencing foreign direct investment decisions. This article contributes to this debate by considering the effects of foreign government policies on the location of U.S. direct investment abroad. The analysis used pooled cross-section and time series data for 44 countries over three time periods to examine the effects of different types of non-policy and policy variables, including market size, per capita income, country risks, tax rates, investment incentives, and investment regulations. This study found that a policy variable, investment regulation and two non-policy variables, market size and per capita income impact investment decision. A moderately strong effect is found in investment incentive policy, whereas country risks and tax rates turned out not to be strong factors in influencing U.S. investment locations. However, in the case of FDI in developing countries, country risk and tax rates appeared to be more important factors for the location of U.S. FDI than host countries' market size. Strong interaction effects between policy variable and market size are found, while less strong interaction is found between policy variable and per capita income. This study concludes that policy variables are also important factors along with non-policy factors and the determinants of FDI are not independently exerting an influence but jointly affecting U.S. investment locations.

JEL classification: F13, F21

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment, Government Policy, Investment Location Decision

Language

English

References

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