North-South FDI and Bilateral Investment Treaties

Neil Foster-McGregor, UNU-MERIT

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) have become increasingly popular as a means of encouraging FDI from developed to developing countries. We adopt a difference-in-difference analysis to deal with the problem of self-selection when estimating the effects of BITs on FDI flows from a sample of OECD countries to a broader sample of lesser developed countries. Our results indicate that forming a BIT with a developed country significantly increases FDI inflows to developing countries, with BITs found to approximately double FDI flows. We further find that FDI flows along the extensive margin are much more responsive to BIT formation than flows along the intensive margin.

About the speaker
Neil Foster-McGregor joined UNU-MERIT in July 2014. Neil obtained his PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham in 2001. Between 2000 and 2008 he was Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna and between 2009 and 2014 a Research Economist at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw). Neil’s research interests include economic growth and development, international trade and globalisation, innovation and technology transfer, and applied econometrics. Recent published research has considered, inter alia, the role of offshoring on labour markets, the impact of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs), Value Added trade and Global Value Chains (GVCs), and firm-level evidence on trade, foreign ownership and performance in sub-Saharan Africa. His current research continues to examine the role of PTAs and of GVCs. In addition, current research focusses on the role of Bilateral Investment Treaties in encouraging FDI flows, and on the interrelationships between migration, trade, FDI and knowledge flows.

Venue: Conference room (room 0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 10 December 2015

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT