Tres ensayos sobre IED y desarrollo económico en América Latina

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The main objective of the Doctoral Thesis is to empirically analyze the impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on the economic development of Latin American countries, following different methodological approaches. The thesis is divided into three chapters. Chapter 1 "Foreign direct investment, economic growth and inequality in Latin America" analyzes the relationship between FDI, economic growth and income inequality using data panel of 18 Latin-American countries for the period 1980-2009. Specifically, we estimate two equations that represent the relationship between FDI and economic growth and income inequality, respectively. The main results obtained confirm the positive effects of FDI on economic growth, and show nonlinear significant effects on income inequality: while FDI leads to an increase in inequality, above some level of FDI (in% of GDP) it leads to greater equity. Based on the results obtained in the first chapter, chapter 2 "Foreign direct investment and income inequality. A sectoral analysis" extends the analysis of the relationship between FDI and income inequality in Latin America introducing a sectoral approach. Thus, the effect of FDI is estimated from a sectoral perspective by identifying three major sectors or economic industries: primary, manufacturing and services. With a data panel of 13 Latin American countries for the period 1980-2009, the estimated results show a positive effect of FDI on income inequality. Moreover, when the effect of FDI by sectors is analyzed, the results show that FDI in the service sector and in manufacturing, increased income inequality explaining the above result. Finally, in Chapter 3 "Technological innovation and productivity. A case study for the industry in Uruguay " we examine the relationship between R & D, innovation and productivity with a focus on the role of FDI as a determinant of R & D activities and technological innovation from a dynamic perspective. To estimate this relationship the structural model CDM proposed by Crepon et al. (1998) was used. This is the first time this model is estimated sequentially and dynamic. Specifically, we use data of the manufacturing firms in Uruguay during the period 2001-2009 from the innovation survey from Uruguay. Evidence for a positive link between performing R&D activities and the generation of technological innovations, and between the latter and productivity was found. It also found evidence for a positive effect of the presence of FDI on the propensity to generate technological innovations by the firms. As a final conclusion, we could state that the obtained results in the three chapters allow identifying the relevant role of FDI in the case of the economic development of the Latin-American countries, and specifically in the case of the Uruguayan economy, we are able to confirm the importance of innovation to support the firms to improve their economic performance, and in this way promote greater economic growth.
Date of Award19 Nov 2015
Original languageSpanish
SupervisorJosep Oriol Roca Sagales (Director)

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