The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the importance of agglomeration economies and institutions vis-a-vis initial conditions and factor endowments in explaining the locational choice of foreign investors. Using a unique panel data set for 25 transition economies between 1990 and 1998, we find that the main determinants are institutions, agglomeration, and trade openness. We find important differences between the Eastern European and Baltic countries, on the one hand, and the CIS countries on the other: in the latter group, natural resources and infrastructure matter, while agglomeration matters only for the former group.