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Foreign direct investment has been heralded as the key benefit which globalization offers the South and the mechanism to kickstart economies into rapid growth. This careful and penetrating economic study analyzes what is actually happening to direct investment, its various impacts and just how little we know about it. It assesses the scale of the flows involved; their systematic under-valuation in official statistics; their geographically skewed distribution; the very high rates of return; the risks of large substantial outflows of resources; the massive shift towards foreign ownership required to avoid them; the potentially depressive effect of over-investment on the prices of many traditional Third World exports; and the adverse implications for national sovereignty, social welfare and democratic rights. More dramatically, David Woodward shows how FDI may have contributed to the Asian financial crisis and could lead to a new wave of similar financial crises throughout the developing world.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Capital Flows, Development and Debt Crises3. The Nature of Direct and Equity Investment and the Positive View4. Recent Trends in Development Finance5. Ignorance is Bliss? Data on the Stocks of Direct and Equity Investment6. Ignorance is Bliss II: Data on Capital Flows, Profits and FDI-Related Trade7. The Foreign Exchange Dimension: General Principles8. Foreign Exchange Effects of Direct and Equity Investment on the Host Country9. Other Effects at the National Level10. The Global Dimension: Competition for Direct Investment and Export Markets11. Net Transfers and the Build-Up of Investment Stocks12. Surges and Cycles13. Was That It? Direct Investment and Current Account Deficits in the Mexican and Asian Financial Crises14. Was That It II: Capital Flows of FDI and Equity Investment in the Mexican and Asian Crises15. Conclusions and Policy ImplicationsAnnex I: Data Discrepancies and the Balance of Payments Effects of Direct Investment in ThailandAnnex II: Balance of Payments Effects of Direct Investment in Malaysia: Data Limitations and Sensitivity to Assumptions

About the Author

David Woodward is an economist who spent several years working in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including a two year secondment to the IMF and World Bank. In 1986, he resigned to work for the voluntary sector. Since that time he has been an independent economic/development consultant, in which capacity he has done research and writing for UNCTAD, UNDP and the Institute of Child Health, as well as a variety of development NGOs including (amongst others) Oxfam, One World Action, and the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad). In 2000 took up an appointment in the Health and Sustainable Development Department of the World Health Organization (WHO).


'Recommended for informed general readers and academics audiences, upper-division undergraduate through professional.' Choice

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