Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa
Despite economic and institutional reform in Africa during the past decade, the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region continues to be disappointing and uneven. In this study we use the fixed and random effects models to explore whether the stylized determinants of FDI affect FDI flows to Africa in conventional ways. Based on a panel dataset for 29 African countries over the period 1975 to 1999, the paper identifies the following factors as significant for FDI flows to Africa: economic growth, inflation, openness of the economy, international reserves, and natural resource availability. Contrary to conventional wisdom, political rights and infrastructures were found to be unimportant for FDI flows to Africa. The significance of a variable for FDI flows to Africa was found to be dependent on whether country- and time-specific effects are fixed or stochastic.