Which Countries Export FDI, and How Much?
SCID Working Paper 200
This paper provides a reconciliation of Lucas’ paradox, based on fixed setup costs of new investments. With such costs, it does not pay a firm to make a “small” investment, even though such an investment is called for by marginal productivity conditions. Using a sample of 45 developed and developing countries, we estimate jointly the participation equation (the decision whether to invest at all) and the FDI flow equation (the decision how much to invest). We find that countries which are more likely to serve as sources for FDI exports than their characteristics project export low flows of FDI than is predicted by their characteristics. This negative correlation suggests that the source countries with relatively low setup costs are also those with high marginal productivity of capital.