Foreign Direct Investment and Labor Quality in Developing Countries

Authors: Iwai, N. and S.R. Thompson. Published in the Review of Development Economics, May 2012, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 276-290.

Abstract: The quality of local labor is an important factor in a multinational corporation's (MNC) decision to set up production operations in a developing country. It is often observed that developing country governments attempt to attract MNCs by enhancing labor quality. This paper studies the interaction between an MNC and a local government which has superior information on local labor quality. The local government has an incentive to enhance the labor quality and share that information with the MNC because it increases both its net tax revenue and profit of the MNC. The paper provides an explanation for recent findings of FDI in developing countries: the bulk of FDI has been directed toward a limited number of countries and human capital plays an increasingly important role in attracting FDI.

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Publication type: 
Journal article
Date published: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2012