Boosting European Competitiveness
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Boosting European Competitiveness

The Role of CESEE Countries

Edited by Marek Belka, Ewald Nowotny, Pawel Samecki and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald

In the global financial crisis, competitiveness gaps between Euro area countries caused additional strain. This book discusses the various dimensions of competitiveness, with a special focus on Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. With products becoming ever more technically sophisticated and global interconnectedness on a relentless rise, quality, customer orientation and participation in production networks are as important as relative costs and prices. For Europe to proceed with convergence and to resist global competitive pressures, policies to boost productivity and innovation are therefore vital.
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Chapter 2: Harnessing foreign direct investment to boost economic growth

Beata S. Javorcik


In response to the financial crisis that emerged in 2008, many governments have been looking for ways to restart economic growth. This chapter argues that inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) may help both advanced and middle-income countries achieve this objective by boosting local research and development activities and by bringing in knowledge and know-how produced elsewhere. The link between FDI and economic growth was documented a while ago by studies relying on cross-country regressions. In a very widely cited paper, Borensztein et al. (1998) utilize data on FDI flows from industrial countries to 69 developing countries over two decades. They find that FDI contributes to growth to a larger extent than domestic investment. They also show that the contribution of FDI to economic growth is enhanced by its interaction with the level of human capital in the host country. Their results imply that FDI is more productive than domestic investment only when the host country has a minimum threshold stock of human capital. They find no evidence of FDI crowding out domestic investment. Subsequent work in a cross-country setting by Alfaro et al. (2004) has demonstrated that FDI alone plays an ambiguous role in contributing to economic growth, but that countries with well-developed financial markets gain significantly from FDI.

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