Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 502: The determinants of host country spillovers from foreign direct investment: review and synthesis of the literature

Magnus Blomstrom (), Steven Globerman () and Ari Kokko ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Blomstrom: Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Steven Globerman: Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Ari Kokko: Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The existence of spillover efficiency benefits to host country economies from inward foreign direct investment(FDI) are well documented in the literature, particularly for economically developed host economies. The determinantsof the size and scope of the spillover benefits have also been studied, but they are not as clearly and consistently documented as the exixtence of the relevant externalities. Yet, a good understanding of the determinants of the nature and magnitude of of FDI efficiency spillovers is of crucial importance to policymakers. the primary purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the available literature foucusing on the determinants of efficiency spillovers from inward FDI. In order to do so, we also outline a theoretical framework for understanding the underlying "supply'"and "demand" forces determining the scope and magnitude of FDI spillovers to host economies. The findings suggest that the competitiveness of host country markets, proxied e.g. by openness to imports, and the technical capability of lopcal firms are among the most important deteminants of spiloover benefits. Both of these characteristics can be influenced by the host country policy. However, it is difficult to provide unequivoval policy advice othe the basis of this findings, since some of the policies that maximize the potential spilloversfrom a given "pool" of appropriable technology (such as technology transfer requirements or active competition policies) may actually reduce the attractiveness of the host country to some foreign investors.

Keywords: foreign direct investment; multinational corporations; spillovers

JEL-codes: F23

31 pages, October 27, 1999

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