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Foreign direct investment: Who gains

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Dirk Willem te Velde

Although foreign direct investment (FDI) contributes to growth in developing countries, there is evidence that the benefits are not equally distributed. Foreign-owned firms tend to pay higher wages in developing countries, but skilled workers tend to benefit more than less-skilled workers. This conclusion is based on new research conducted into the effects of FDI on wages in five East Asian economies and the effects of foreign ownership in five African countries. While FDI may support development in the aggregate, more attention should be focused on the distribution of gains from FDI, notably effects on wage inequality.

Dirk Willem te Velde and Oliver Morrisey