Climbing to the top? Foreign Direct Investment and Property Rights.
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This paper operates at the interface of the literature on the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on host countries, and the literature on the determinants of institutional quality. We argue that FDI contributes to economic development by improving institutional quality in the host country and we attempt to test this proposition using a large panel data set of 70 developing countries during the period 1981 and 2005, and we show that FDI inflows have a positive and highly significant impact on property rights. The result appears to be very robust and is and not affected by model specification, different control variables, or a particular estimation technique. As far as we are aware this is the first paper to empirically test the FDI – property rights linkage.