Technical Report A new institutional approach to Japanese firms' foreign direct investment under free trade agreements

Ishido, Hikari  ,  石戸, 光

6082016-07 , Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
This paper examines the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) under free trade agreements (FTAs) from a new institutional perspective. First, the determinants of FDI are theoretically discussed from a new institutional perspective. Then, FDI is statistically analyzed at the aggregate level. Kernel density estimation of firm-size reveals some evidence of "structural changes" after FTAs, as characterized by the investing firms' paid-up capital stock. Statistical tests of the average and variance of the size distribution confirm this in the case of FTAs with Asian partner countries. For FTAs with South American partner countries, the presence of FTAs seems to promote larger-scale FDIs. These results remain correlational instead of causal, and more statistical analyses would be needed to infer causality. Policy implications suggest that participants should consider "institutional" aspects of FTAs, that is, the size matters as a determinant of FDI. Future work along this line is needed to study "firm heterogeneity."

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