An Information-Based Model of Foreign Direct Investment: the Gains from Trade Revisited

35 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 1999 Last revised: 14 May 2014

See all articles by Assaf Razin

Assaf Razin

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Efraim Sadka

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Chi-Wa Yuen

The University of Hong Kong - School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: January 1999

Abstract

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is observed to be a predominant form of capital flows to emerging economies, especially when they are liquidity-constrained internationally during a global financial crisis. The financial aspects of FDI are the focus of the paper. We analyze the problem of channeling domestic saving into productive investment in the presence of asymmetric information between the managing owners of firms and the other portfolio stakeholders. We explore the role played by FDI in reviving equity-financed capital investment for economies plagued by such information problems. In the presence of asymmetry, the paper identifies how, however, FDI gives rise to foreign overinvestment as well as domestic undersaving. We re-examine the gains from trade argument (applied to intertemporal trade) in this case of informational-asymmetry driven FDI. We show that the gains could be sizable when the domestic credit market is either underdeveloped or failing as a result of a financial crisis. But with well-functioning domestic credit market, the gains turn into losses. Surprisingly, capital may flow into the country even though the autarkic marginal productivity of capital in the domestic economy falls short of the world rate of interest. In such a situation, capital should have efficiently flown out rather than in, and FDI is a loss-generating phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf and Sadka, Efraim and Yuen, Chi-Wa, An Information-Based Model of Foreign Direct Investment: the Gains from Trade Revisited (January 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w6884. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=147013

Assaf Razin (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 7303 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Efraim Sadka

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9712 (Phone)
+972 3 642 8074 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Chi-Wa Yuen

The University of Hong Kong - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

8th Floor Kennedy Town Centre
23 Belcher's Street
Kennedy Town
Hong Kong
+8 52 2859 1051 (Phone)
+8 52 7548 1152 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
37
Abstract Views
1,390
PlumX Metrics