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J. Saúl Lizondo and Donald J. Mathieson

This paper summarizes the theory and empirical evidence on the determinants of foreign direct investment. These determinants include expected relative rates of return, risk diversification, market size, technological advantage, market failure, oligopolistic rivalry, liquidity, currency strength, political instability, tax policy, and government regulations. While most explanations of foreign direct investment receive some empirical support, there is not sufficient favorable evidence on any one of them to merit rejection of all the others.