Does foreign direct investment improve economic development in North African countries ?

Authors: Soumaré, Issouf
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between FDI inflows and welfare improvement in North African countries. Using net per capita FDI inflows and the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index as the principal variables, our analyses confirm the positive and strongly significant relationship between net FDI inflows and welfare improvement in North Africa, although we do find significant differences among the countries in the region. This relationship holds even after we control for government size, country indebtedness, macroeconomic instability, infrastructural development, institutional quality, political risk, openness to trade, education and financial market development. Hence, at the aggregate level, FDI contributes to economic growth in North Africa, in turn generating additional revenues for governments and populations in the region through fiscal policies and jobs creation. We also found that FDI received by countries in the region are mainly concentrated in very few industries (particularly extractive petroleum, services and tourism, construction and utilities); relatively fewer of these investments are directed towards the nonextractive primary industries, which are pro-poor sectors and highly labour intensive, or the manufacturing sector, with a high potential for spillover effects in the economy. This lack of diversification of FDI received in the region’s economies in part explains the differences observed in the link between FDI and welfare in these countries. It is therefore essential for governments in the region to continue investing in social infrastructures while improving the quality of their institutions and their governance; doing so will probably help avoid the type of unrest we have witnessed recently.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 2 June 2015
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/15245
This document was published in: Applied economics, Vol. 47 (51), 5510-5533 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2015.1051655
Taylor & Francis
Alternative version: 10.1080/00036846.2015.1051655
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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