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Individual Preferences for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from China

Date: Thursday, June 28th, 15:00

Location:B512, Tong Bo Building, Liu Lin Campus

The public lecture

Given by

Professor: Zeng Ka

University of Arkansas


Foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing countries like India and China is often met with domestic backlash by the citizens of the host country, and backlash in the form of protest and other disruptive behavior has raised the salience of public opinion in FDI policy. As one of the first survey experiments of Chinese citizens’ attitudes toward FDI, this paper adopts a novel conjoint design to evaluate the impact of both individual characteristics and specific features of the proposed project on FDI preferences. Importantly, we find that low-skilled respondents are not necessarily more likely to support labor-intensive FDI, a result that challenges the conventional wisdom that individuals in developing countries abundantly endowed in labor should be more likely to support low-skilled FDI. Instead, citizens are more concerned about FDI projects’ country of origin and impact on the local job market when forming their preferences.

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