Chapter 10: Foreign Direct Investment and Development from a Gender Perspective
Elissa Braunstein 1 Introduction While the wisdom of encouraging short-term capital flows is increasingly questioned, foreign direct investment (FDI) is still viewed as a central element of development strategy by international financial institutions. Many contentious issues remain in the literature about FDI. These pertain to both the growth and development effects of FDI as well as the appropriate kinds of regulatory frameworks that would render FDI flows more development oriented. However, while the development effects of FDI are debated, the literature on FDI and economic development has generally been gender blind. Nevertheless, a small but growing literature addresses the gender dimensions of FDI in the context of efforts to understand how neoliberal economic policies and globalization patterns have different impacts on women and men. Although the literature is relatively scant, there are some stylized facts and policy insights that can be drawn from this work. 2 Gender and FDI: the empirical research Research on gender and FDI in developing countries has been confined, for the most part, to small-scale studies that take a case-study approach to women’s employment by transnational corporations (TNCs). While this literature provides key insights into the specific contexts of its subjects, it is sometimes difficult to draw out stylized analyses that can be compared with the dynamics of FDI in other countries. For this reason, where appropriate, I also draw from the literature on gender and international trade. 2.1 Women’s employment In terms of employment, where FDI inflows have been sizeable – primarily in East and Southeast...
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