Friday, October 26, 2012

The role of academic research in investment for development

Foreign direct investment (FDI), like investment in general, may be profitable and productive. But does it generate what economists call "spillovers" or "beneficial externalities"? For example, if a company builds a large factory, how likely is it that locals will become better technically qualified or start new businesses as a result? This is important if you are, as you should be, trying to maximize the development impact of a project.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beyond "CSR": Widening Responsibility

Companies all over the world proclaim adherence to the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and/or sustainability. But what reallly is "CSR"? The brief explanation below is based largely on my experience with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, with governments trying to improve their investment policies, international organizations seeking to develop investment rules, and with corporations, labor unions and NGOs striving to influence the process, and is aimed more at practical usefulness than academic rigor.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Aid is not enough

Why is it necessary to mobiliize large quantities of private capital to invest in economic and social development in poor countries? Surely the rich countries' aid programs are already doing this?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Does investing abroad reduce investment at home?

A few years ago,  "outsourcing" became a dirty word in the United States. Now that emerging markets like China and India are becoming big outward investors, similar concerns are likely to be voiced in those countries, especially as their economic growth slows. While international investment is generally beneficial, these concerns are genuine and need to be met by positive policies to ensure that the benefits of FDI occur and that they are shared fairly.