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.
What accounts for variations in FDI flows from advanced to developing countries? How have FDI inflows explained cross-country growth experiences? In this paper we tackle both these questions empirically for a large sample of middle and low-income countries. Two key results emerge: (i) lower borrowing costs and positive real-side external factors were increasingly important drivers of FDI outflows to low-income countries in the pre-crisis period; (ii) economic fundamentals, the strength of economic reforms, and commitment to macroeconomic discipline are crucial determinants of the growth dividends of FDI. Our paper suggests that low-income countries can turn to domestic policy solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of a potential decline in FDI in the post-crisis world.