The Impact of Institutional and Social Characteristics on Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Japan

We examine the determinants of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) focusing on institutional and social factors. Using panel data on 59 countries from 1995 to 2008, we find that host countries with free and open markets and greater cultural distance from Japan attract Japanese FDI. Good institutions, such as a well-developed legal framework and an effective government, are important in promoting Japanese FDI to emerging economies, whereas fewer regulatory restrictions, lower tax burden, and more religious diversity attract Japanese FDI to developed countries. We find that corruption stimulates Japanese FDI to developed countries, which is contrary to most previous research.

18. December 2013

Authors Stefan Eichler Alexander Karmann N. Lucke

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