Publication: Does Foreign Direct Investment Catalyze Local Structural Transformation and Human Capital Accumulation ? Evidence from China
This paper examines the effect of foreign direct investment on local structural transformation and human capital accumulation in China, exploiting variations in foreign direct investment inflows across manufacturing sub-sectors caused by China’s foreign direct investment deregulation and initial sectoral composition patterns across China’s cities and provinces. Using a panel of city-level data from 1990 to 2005, the paper shows that manufacturing foreign direct investment inflows greatly accelerated city-level structural transformation and human capital accumulation. By expanding access to the global market, foreign direct investment created a huge pull factor that drew excess labor away from farms into factories and services. Foreign direct investment has promoted high school and university enrollment by paying a higher wage premium for skilled workers and pushing up the skill premium. The positive effect on structural transformation is largely driven by export-oriented foreign direct investment, while market-seeking foreign direct investment has a much larger effect on college enrollment. High-skill foreign direct investment has a larger effect on college enrollment than low-skill foreign direct investment.
“Liu, Yan. 2022. Does Foreign Direct Investment Catalyze Local Structural Transformation and Human Capital Accumulation ? Evidence from China. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/37104 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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