Asymmetric Cultural Proximity and Greenfield FDI
50 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018
Date Written: January 1, 2018
This paper investigates the role of asymmetric cultural proximity (CP) on greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI). We build a conceptual framework that explicitly accounts for cultural attractiveness as an asymmetric dimension within a broad notion of CP. We revisit the existing supply/origin-side theories of bilateral FDI to derive a gravity equation suited for testing the impact of (i) the attractiveness of destination’s culture for citizens in the origin country and (ii) the attractiveness of origin's culture for individuals inn the destination economy. While the role of the former direction of CP is well understood in the literature, we propose new mechanisms to rationalize that of the latter. We use exports and imports of cultural goods to proxy for the two directions of asymmetric and time-dependent CP in the same empirical specification. The econometric analysis confirms a positive role of asymmetric CP as a determinant of Greenfield FDI. Moreover, it suggests a stronger investment effect of the origin’s culture attractiveness for the destination country. Finally, it provides support for the mechanisms proposed in the theoretical discussion.
Keywords: cultural proximity, greenfield FDI, cultural trade, gravity model
JEL Classification: F14, F21, F23
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