As corporations search for new production sites, governments compete furiously using location subsidies and tax incentives to lure them. Yet underwriting big business can have its costs: reduction in economic efficiency, shifting of tax burdens, worsening of economic inequalities, or environmental degradation.
Competing for Capital is one of the first books to analyze competition for investment in order to suggest ways of controlling the effects of capital mobility. Comparing the European Union's strict regulation of state aid to business with the virtually unregulated investment competition in the United States and Canada, Kenneth P. Thomas documents Europe's relative success in controlling—and decreasing—subsidies to business, even while they rise in the United States.
Thomas provides an extensive history of the powers granted to the EU's governing European Commission for controlling subsidies and draws on data to show that those efforts are paying off. In reviewing trends in North America, he offers the first comprehensive estimate of U.S. subsidies to business at all levels to show that the United States is a much higher subsidizer than it portrays itself as being.
Thomas then suggests what we might learn from the European experience to control the effects of capital mobility—not only within or between states, but also globally, within NAFTA and the World Trade Organization as well. He concludes with policy recommendations to help promote international cooperation and cross-fertilization of ways to control competition for investment.
The tax rules of the United States and other countries have intended and unintended effects on the operations of multinational corporations, influencing everything from the formation and allocation of capital to competitive strategies. The growing importance of international business has led economists to reconsider whether current systems of taxing international income are viable in a world of significant capital market integration and global commercial competition.
In an attempt to quantify the effect of tax policy on international investment choices, this volume presents in-depth analyses of the interaction of international tax rules and the investment decisions of multinational enterprises. Ten papers assess the role played by multinational firms and their investment in the U.S. economy and the design of international tax rules for multinational investment; analyze channels through which international tax rules affect the costs of international business activities; and examine ways in which international tax rules affect financing decisions of multinational firms. As a group, the papers demonstrate that international tax rules have significant effects on firms' investment and other financing decisions.
Economists disagree on whether recent U.S. trade policies are harmful or helpful, but they all agree that there is a new trend toward focusing on results-oriented policies in specific markets and with particular trading partners. These twelve essays by leading international economists explore crucial issues in U.S. trade policy today. Topics examined include the markets for automobile and automobile parts in the United States and Japan, the U.S. response to "unfair" trading practices such as dumping, and the effects of industry- and country-specific policies. Examples include high-technology and agricultural industries and off-shore assembly in U.S. border cities.
The volume concludes that some policies can act to both protect imports and promote exports, that the threat of protectionist policies can often have effects that are as pronounced as their implementation, and that regulatory policy has as great an impact on trade and investment patterns as does trade policy itself. It will be of crucial interest to international trade economists, policy specialists, and political scientists.
Foreign Direct Investment
Edited by Kenneth A. Froot University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress HG4538.F618 1993 | Dewey Decimal 332.673
Over the past decade, foreign direct investment (FDI) around the world has nearly tripled, and with this surge have come dramatic shifts in FDI flows. In Foreign Direct Investment, distinguished economists look at changes in FDI, including historical trends, specific country experiences, developments in the semiconductor industry, and variations in international mergers and acquisitions.
Chapters cover such topics as theoretical accounts of FDI patterns, the growth of multinational enterprises, and the FDI experiences of Japan, the United States, and selected developing countries. This volume will interest economists, government officials, and business people concerned with FDI today.
Restrictions on foreign investment in U.S. telecommunications firms have harmed the interests of American consumers and investors, argues J. Gregory Sidak in this convincing study. Sidak shows why these restrictions, originally intended to protect America from the perils of wireless telegraphy by foreign agents, should be repealed.
Basing his analysis on legislative history, statutory and constitutional interpretation, and finance and trade theory, Sidak shows that these restrictions no longer serve their national security purpose (if they ever did). Instead they deny American consumers lower prices and more robust innovation, hamper access of American investors to foreign telecommunications markets, and unconstitutionally impinge on freedom of speech. Sidak's study encompasses the Telecommunications Act of 1996, recent global mergers such as British Telecom-MCI, and the 1997 World Trade Organization agreement to liberalize trade in telecommunications services.
As we struggle to feed a global population speeding toward 9 billion, we have entered a new phase of the food crisis. Wealthy countries that import much of their food, along with private investors, are racing to buy or lease huge swaths of farmland abroad. The Global Farms Race is the first book to examine this burgeoning trend in all its complexity, considering the implications for investors, host countries, and the world as a whole.
The debate over large-scale land acquisition is typically polarized, with critics lambasting it as a form of “neocolonialism,” and proponents lauding it as an elixir for the poor yields, inefficient technology, and unemployment plaguing global agriculture. The Global Farms Race instead offers diverse perspectives, featuring contributions from agricultural investment consultants, farmers’ organizations, international NGOs, and academics. The book addresses historical context, environmental impacts, and social effects, and covers all the major geographic areas of investment.
Nearly 230 million hectares of farmland—an area equivalent to the size of Western Europe—have been sold or leased since 2001, with most of these transactions occurring since 2008. As the deals continue to increase, it is imperative for anyone concerned with food security to understand them and their consequences. The Global Farms Race is a critical resource to develop that understanding.
Yu Zheng challenges the idea that democracy is the prerequisite for developing countries to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote economic growth. He examines the relationship between political institutions and FDI through the use of cross-national analysis and case studies of three rapidly growing Asian economies with a focus on the role of microinstitutional “special economic zones” (SEZ).
China’s authoritarian system allows for bold, radical economic reform, but China has attracted FDI largely because of its increasingly credible investment environment as well as its central and local governments’ efforts to overcome constraints on investment. India’s democratic institutions provide more political assurance to foreign investors, but its market became conducive to FDI only when the government adopted more flexible investment policies. Taiwan’s democratic transition shifted its balance of policy credibility and flexibility, which was essential for the nation’s economic takeoff and sustained growth.
Zheng concludes that a more accurate understanding of the relationship between political institutions and FDI comes from careful analysis of institutional arrangements that entail a trade-off between credibility and flexibility of governance.
Mira Wilkins, the foremost authority on foreign investment in the United States, continues her magisterial history in a work covering the critical years 1914-1945.
Wilkins includes all long-term inward foreign investments, both portfolio (by individuals and institutions) and direct (by multinationals), across such enterprises as chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles, insurance, banks and mortgage providers, other service sector companies, and mining and oil industries. She traces the complex course of inward investments, presents the experiences of the investors, and examines the political and economic conditions, particularly the range of public policies, that affected foreign investments. She also offers valuable discussions on the intricate cross-investments of inward and outward involvements and the legal precedents that had long-term consequences on foreign investment.
At the start of World War I, the United States was a debtor nation. By the end of World War II, it was a creditor nation with the strongest economy in the world. Integrating economic, business, technological, legal, and diplomatic history, this comprehensive study is essential to understanding the internationalization of the American economy, as well as broader global trends.
As China continues to be heralded as a rising economic power, the need for an understanding of its institutional effects--such as investment-related policies, regulations, and laws--on foreign direct investment increases as well. Institutions and Investments employs interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, business, law, and political science to shed light on the interaction between institutional changes and investment patterns and to form a clear picture of investment behavior as China's legal and regulatory infrastructure has developed over the reform years.
Organized into three main parts, the book first discusses the evolution and nature of China's FDI regulatory framework. Part 2 examines the various modes and variant patterns of FDI in China in the reform years. Part 3's central task is to demonstrate a systematic link between institutional changes in China's FDI regulatory framework and the changing patterns of FDI. In conclusion, Jun Fu finds that China has made substantial progress from a command economy to a market system, but that it still has a long way to go before it truly attains a transparent and rule-based system.
This book adds new dimensions to the scholarship on China as a growing economic power and will be of particular interest to international economists, political scientists, and business scholars studying China.
Jun Fu is Associate Professor in the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University.
Because the actions of multinational corporations have a clear and direct effect on the flow of capital throughout the world, how and why these firms behave the way they do is a major issue for national governments and their policymakers. With an unprecedented ability to adjust the scale, character, and location of their global operations, international corporations have become increasingly sensitive to the kind and degree of tax obligations imposed on them by both host and home countries. Tax rules affect the volume of foreign direct investment, corporate borrowing, transfer pricing, dividend and royalty payments, and research and development. National governments that tax the profits of international firms face important challenges in designing tax policies to attract them. This collection examines the global ramifications of tax policies, offering up-to-date, theoretically innovative, and empirically sound perspectives on a problem of immense significance to future economic growth around the globe.
International Trade in East Asia
Edited by Takatoshi Ito and Andrew K. Rose University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress HF3820.5.A46N34 2003 | Dewey Decimal 382.095
The practice of trading across international borders has undergone a series of changes with great consequences for the world trading community, the result of new trade agreements, a number of financial crises, the emergence of the World Trade Organization, and countless other less obvious developments. In International Trade in East Asia, a group of esteemed contributors provides a summary of empirical factors of international trade specifically as they pertain to East Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
Comprised of twelve fascinating studies, International Trade in East Asia highlights many of the trading practices between countries within the region as well as outside of it. The contributors bring into focus some of the region's endemic and external barriers to international trade and discuss strategies for improving productivity and fostering trade relationships. Studies on some of the factors that drive exports, the influence of research and development, the effects of foreign investment, and the ramifications of different types of protectionism will particularly resonate with the financial and economic communities who are trying to keep pace with this dramatically altered landscape.
This timely volume addresses three important recent trends in the internationalization of United States equity markets: extensive market integration through foreign investment and links among stock prices around the world; increasing securitization as countries such as Japan come to rely more than ever before on markets in equities and bonds at the expense of banks; and the opening of national financial systems of newly industrializing countries to international financial flows and institutions, as governments remove capital controls and other barriers.
Eight essays examine such issues as the current extent of international market integration, gains to U.S. investors through international diversification, home-country bias in investing, the role of time and location around the world in stock trading, and the behavior of country funds. Other, long-standing questions about equity markets are also addressed, including market efficiency and the accuracy of models of expected returns, with a particular focus on variances, covariances, and the price of risk according to the Capital Asset Pricing Model.
Once viewed as a “brain drain,” migrants are increasingly viewed as a resource for promoting economic development back in their home countries. In Investing in the Homeland, Benjamin Graham finds that diasporans—migrants and their descendants—play a critical role in linking foreign firms to social networks in developing countries, allowing firms to flourish even in challenging political environments most foreign investors shun.
Graham’s analysis draws on new data from face-to-face interviews with the managers of over 450 foreign firms operating in two developing countries: Georgia and the Philippines. Diaspora-owned and diaspora-managed firms are better connected than other foreign firms and they use social ties to resolve disputes and influence government policy. At the same time, Graham shows that diaspora-affiliated firms are no more socially responsible than their purely foreign peers—at root, they are profit-seeking enterprises, not development NGOs. Graham identifies implications for policymakers seeking to capture the development potential of diaspora investment and for managers of multinational firms who want to harness diasporans as a source of sustained competitive advantage.
More than half a decade has passed since the bursting of the housing bubble and the collapse of Lehman Brothers. In retrospect, what is surprising is that these events and their consequences came as such a surprise. What was it that prevented most of the world from recognizing the impending crisis and, looking ahead, what needs to be done to prevent something similar?
Measuring Wealth and Financial Intermediation and Their Links to the Real Economy identifies measurement problems associated with the financial crisis and improvements in measurement that may prevent future crises, taking account of the dynamism of the financial marketplace in which measures that once worked well become misleading. In addition to advances in measuring financial activity, the contributors also investigate the effects of the crisis on households and nonfinancial businesses. They show that households’ experiences varied greatly and some even experienced gains in wealth, while nonfinancial businesses’ lack of access to credit in the recession may have been a more important factor than the effects of policies stimulating demand.
Foreign investment increased from 17 percent of the capital of industrial corporations in Imperial Russia in 1880 to 47 percent in 1914, coinciding with the rapid development of Russian industrialization before World War I. John McKay's study, based largely on intensive research in numerous archives and utilizing many previously unexplored private business records, is the first detailed analysis of the impact of foreign enterprise on Russian industry during this period. His conclusions are significant for historians, economists, and those interested in the development of modern industrial society.
Politics and Foreign Direct Investment
Nathan M. Jensen, Glen Biglaiser, Quan Li, Edmund Malesky, Pablo M. Pinto, Santiago M. Pinto, and Joseph L. Staats University of Michigan Press, 2012 Library of Congress HG4538.P566 2012 | Dewey Decimal 332.673
For decades, free trade was advocated as the vehicle for peace, prosperity, and democracy in an increasingly globalized market. More recently, the proliferation of foreign direct investment has raised questions about its impact upon local economies and politics. Here, seven scholars bring together their wide-ranging expertise to investigate the factors that determine the attractiveness of a locale to investors and the extent of their political power. Multinational corporations prefer to invest where legal and political institutions support the rule of law, protections for property rights, and democratic processes. Corporate influence on local institutions, in turn, depends upon the relative power of other players and the types of policies at issue.
The disparity between rich and poor countries is the most serious, intractable problem facing the world today. The chronic poverty of many nations affects more than the citizens and economies of those nations; it threatens global stability as the pressures of immigration become unsustainable and rogue nations seek power and influence through extreme political and terrorist acts. To address this tenacious poverty, a vast array of international institutions has pumped billions of dollars into these nations in recent decades, yet despite this infusion of capital and attention, roughly five billion of the world's six billion people continue to live in poor countries. What isn't working? And how can we fix it?
The Power of Productivity provides powerful and controversial answers to these questions. William W. Lewis, the director emeritus of the McKinsey Global Institute, here draws on extensive microeconomic studies of thirteen nations over twelve years—conducted by the Institute itself—to counter virtually all prevailing wisdom about how best to ameliorate economic disparity. Lewis's research, which included studying everything from state-of-the-art auto makers to black-market street vendors and mom-and-pop stores, conclusively demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, providing more capital to poor nations is not the best way to help them. Nor is improving levels of education, exchange-rate flexibility, or government solvency enough. Rather, the key to improving economic conditions in poor countries, argues Lewis, is increasing productivity through intense, fair competition and protecting consumer rights.
As The Power of Productivity explains, this sweeping solution affects the economies of poor nations at all levels—from the viability of major industries to how the average consumer thinks about his or her purchases. Policies must be enacted in developing nations that reflect a consumer rather than a producer mindset and an attendant sense of consumer rights. Only one force, Lewis claims, can stand up to producer special privileges—consumer interests.
The Institute's unprecedented research method and Lewis's years of experience with economic policy combine to make The Power of Productivity the most authoritative and compelling view of the global economy today, one that will inform political and economic debate throughout the world for years to come.
The international flow of long-term private capital has increased dramatically in the 1990s. In fact, many policymakers now consider private foreign capital to be an essential resource for the acceleration of economic growth. This volume focuses attention on the microeconomic determinants and effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the East Asian region, allowing researchers to explore the overall structure of FDI, to offer case studies of individual countries, and to consider their insights, both general and particular, within the context of current economic theory.
China has recently emerged as one of Africa’s top business partners, aggressively pursuing its raw materials and establishing a mighty presence in the continent’s booming construction market. Among major foreign investors in Africa, China has stirred the most fear, hope, and controversy. For many, the specter of a Chinese neocolonial scramble is looming, while for others China is Africa’s best chance at economic renewal. Yet, global debates about China in Africa have been based more on rhetoric than on empirical evidence. Ching Kwan Lee’s The Specter of Global China is the first comparative ethnographic study that addresses the critical question: Is Chinese capital a different kind of capital?
Offering the clearest look yet at China’s state-driven investment in Africa, this book is rooted in six years of extensive fieldwork in copper mines and construction sites in Zambia, Africa’s copper giant. Lee shadowed Chinese, Indian, and South African managers in underground mines, interviewed Zambian miners and construction workers, and worked with Zambian officials. Distinguishing carefully between Chinese state capital and global private capital in terms of their business objectives, labor practices, managerial ethos, and political engagement with the Zambian state and society, she concludes that Chinese state investment presents unique potential and perils for African development. The Specter of Global China will be a must-read for anyone interested in the future of China, Africa, and capitalism worldwide.
The growth of global finance since 1960 constitutes one of the most important transformations in social relations during the twentieth century. Using historical, statistical, and graphical techniques, State Institutions, Private Incentives, and Global Capital examines three important aspects of this phenomenal shift in the international political economy. First, Andrew Sobel explores the reawakening of the international financial markets, mapping their extraordinary transformation since the early 1960s and discussing the role of politics in that metamorphosis. The author then offers a fresh understanding of the systematic differences in access for borrowers in this rapidly transforming and expanding global capital pool. He then demonstrates the influence of political factors in producing differential access to the global capital pool. Showing how the character and stability of a country's political system affects investors's decisions to invest in that country, Sobel breaks new ground in understanding the basis for the frequent admonitions by the World Bank and others that a stable political and legal system are essential for states to attract significant foreign investment.
With the growing debate about the effect of financial interdependence on the ability of states to conduct economic policy and indeed to preserve their independence in the face of unprecedented economic linkages, this book will be of interest to political scientists and economists as well as policy makers concerned with the impact of financial globalization and the causes of differentials in access to capital.
Andrew C. Sobel is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Resident Fellow, Center in Political Economy, Washington University, St. Louis. He is the author of Domestic Choices, International Markets: Dismantling National Barriers and Liberalizing Securities Markets.
Studies in International Taxation
Edited by Alberto Giovannini, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Joel Slemrod University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress HJ2347.S78 1993 | Dewey Decimal 336.243
As a united global economy evolves, economists and policymakers are forced to consider whether the current system of taxing income is inconsistent with the trend toward liberalized world financial flows and increased international competition. To help assess existing tax policies and incentives, this volume presents new research on how taxes affect the investment and financing decisions of multinationals today.
The contributors examine the effects of taxation on decisions about international financial management, business investment, and international income shifting. They consider the influence of tax rules on dividend policy decisions within multinationals; the extent to which tax incentives affect the level and location of research and development across countries; and the fact that foreign-controlled companies operating in the United States pay lower taxes than do domestically controlled companies.
The contributors to this volume are Rosanne Altshuler, Alan J. Auerbach, Neil Bruce, Timothy Goodspeed, Roger H. Gordon, Harry Grubert, Bronwyn H. Hall, David Harris, Kevin Hassett, James R. Hines Jr., Roy D. Hogg, Joosung Jun, Jeffrey K. Mackie-Mason, Jack M. Mintz, Randall Morck, John Mutti, T. Scott Newlon, James M. Poterba, Joel Slemrod, Deborah Swenson, G. Peter Wilson, and Bernard Yeung.
Focusing on the steel industry during the post-communist transition from 1989 through 2009, Aleksandra Sznajder Lee traces the transformation of flagship state enterprises in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia into the subsidiaries of large, international corporations. By analyzing this transformation at the three levels of enterprise, sector, and national-international nexus, she identifies the players—from international investors and European Union members to national labor unions and local industry managers—in the political economy of reform. Even in the midst of the transition to a capitalist, democratic system, Sznajder Lee finds, the state plays a key role in mediating between domestic vested interests and external pressures from international financial markets and institutions, on the one hand, and regional institutions on the other. Whereas state power may be employed to require domestic firms to operate as capitalists in the international market, it may also be used to shield enterprises from market pressures in order to promote the political and personal preferences of the elite.
This book has broad implications for the political economy of reform because it illuminates the political determinants of privatization and the resources used to resist it. In addition, Sznajder Lee sheds new light on why some countries are more likely than others to be subject to external constraints, such as IMF conditionality, and how some allegedly pro-market reformers manage to maintain public ownership over certain industry sectors.
Understanding Global Trade
Elhanan Helpman Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HF1379.H457 2011 | Dewey Decimal 382
Global trade is of vital interest to citizens as well as policymakers, yet it is widely misunderstood. This compact exposition of the market forces underlying international commerce addresses both of these concerned groups, as well as the needs of students and scholars. Although it contains no equations, it is almost mathematical in its elegance, precision, and power of expression.
Understanding Global Trade provides a thorough explanation of what shapes the international organization of production and distribution and the resulting trade flows. It reviews the evolution of knowledge in this field from Adam Smith to today as a process of theoretical modeling, accumulation of new empirical data, and then revision of analytical frameworks in response to evidence and changing circumstances. It explains the sources of comparative advantage and how they lead countries to specialize in making products which they then sell to other countries. While foreign trade contributes to the overall welfare of a nation, it also creates winners and losers, and Helpman describes mechanisms through which trade affects a country's income distribution.
The book provides a clear and original account of the revolutions in trade theory of the 1980s and the most recent decade. It shows how scholars shifted the analysis of trade flows from the sectoral level to the business-firm level, to elucidate the growing roles of multinational corporations, offshoring, and outsourcing in the international division of labor. Helpman’s explanation of the latest research findings is essential for an understanding of world affairs.
This report presents strategic choices America faces regarding the international economy over the term of the next U.S. administration, focusing on policy choices in the areas of maintaining and improving the rules-based international economic system; working with China and better integrating it into the existing system; supporting economic growth of allies and partners; and using sanctions to change unwanted behavior and counter adversaries.