Jannick Damgaard, Thomas Elkjaer, and Niels Johannesen
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with
enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data
sources, both macro and micro, to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real
investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor
economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no
real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI. Ignoring
phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investors increases the
explanatory power of standard gravity variables by around 25 percent.
This paper addresses three types of geographical decoupling in foreign direct investment (FDI), i.e., challenges when using traditional FDI data as a proxy for real economic integration between economies: (i) large bilateral asymmetries between inward and outward FDI, (ii) the role of special purpose entities (SPEs), and (iii) the effect of moving from immediate counterpart to ultimate investing economy (UIE). A unique global FDI network is estimated, where SPEs are removed and FDI positions are broken down by the UIE. Total inward FDI in the new network is reduced by one-third, and financial centers are less dominant.
This note documents and assesses the role of small financial centers in the international financial system using a newly-assembled dataset. It presents estimates of the foreign asset and liability positions for a number of the most important small financial centers, and places these into context by calculating the importance of these locations in the global aggregate of cross-border investment positions. It also reports some information on bilateral cross-border investment patterns, highlighting which countries engage in financial trade with small financial centers.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
On July 17, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger addressed a National Bureau for Economic Research (NBER) conference on the lessons to be learned from the Argentina crisis and how these can be used to raise the effectiveness of IMF efforts to prevent and resolve financial crises. Following are edited excerpts from her remarks; the full text is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).
The coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey Guide is provided to assist balance of payments compilers in the conduct of an internationally coordinated survey of security holdings being conducted under the auspices of the IMF with reference to year-end 1997. The Guide has two main purposes: to set out the objectives of the Coordinated Survey; and to provide practical advice on how to prepare, organize, and conduct a national survey. The appendices include three model survey forms, a glossary of security terms, a listing of the major security databases that national compilers may find useful in their work, and a method for reconciling security position and transactions data.