Political Culture and Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of Italy
Posted: 20 Dec 2001
Does the political culture of an area have any impact on the foreign direct investment (FDI) decisions of multinational corporations (MNCs)? This question is difficult to address empirically, as locations differ in many dimensions. We therefore address this question by examining MNC investment location decisions with regard to different regions within a single country. The country we examine is Italy, which exhibits one of the highest levels of variation with regard to the political culture of its geographical regions. We find that political culture as represented by the pattern of support for political parties at different points on the political spectrum has a significant impact on the MNC investment location decision. Thus, in choosing between locations on a short list, where economic and financial location factors are roughly similar, political culture can have a determining influence. In the case of Italy, a Center-right orientation is conducive to MNC FDI, while a Center-left orientation is not. A Far-left orientation is found to have a very negative effect on FDI.
Keywords: Foreign direct investment, political culture, MNCs
JEL Classification: F23, D72, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation