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Foreign direct investment and repression: an analysis across industry sectors

Janz, Nicole


Nicole Janz


The impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on repression in developing nations is still disputed. Some argue that FDI improves economic development and exports human rights values. Others criticise the exploitation of cheap labour and resources, which may lead to tensions and government oppression. Previous studies have employed aggregate FDI data, with conflicting results. Alternatively, I propose that the effects depend on what kind of FDI enters a country. I build a sectoral framework to discuss how skills and technology levels, as well as the motivation for FDI, can mediate the impact. I then examine the link in a panel data analysis (1983-2010) in 121 countries, integrating sectoral FDI in several resource, manufacturing and service industries. The results show that investment in high-skilled and -tech sectors has positive effects. The results are robust across several measures for repression, and when accounting for sector size, regional and time effects.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 16, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 7, 2017
Publication Date Jun 30, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2018
Journal Journal of Human Rights
Print ISSN 1475-4835
Electronic ISSN 1475-4843
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Public URL
Publisher URL


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