This paper contributes to the literature on FDI and economic growth. We deviate from previous studies by introducing measures of the volatility of FDI inflows. As introduced into the model, these are predicted to have a negative effect on growth. We estimate the standard model using cross-section, panel data and instrumental variable techniques. Whilst all results are not entirely robust, there is a consistent finding that FDI has a positive effect on growth whereas volatility of FDI has a negative impact. The evidence for a positive effect of FDI is not sensitive to which other explanatory variables are included. In particular, it is not conditional on the level of human capital (as found in some previous studies). There is a suggestion that it is not the volatility of FDI per se that retards growth but that such volatility captures the growth-retarding effects of unobserved variables.
CREDIT Research Paper 01/06, University of Nottingham, UK. 32 pp.