Globalisation’s Impact on Growth and Performance

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    Neil Foster-mcgregor

    This research project studies various aspects of globalisation and assesses their impact indicators of performance and development across a broad sample of countries. While the scope of the topic is broad, the following aspects will be the major focus of the project: 1. The impact of bilateral agreements With progress on multilateral agreements regarding trade and investment policies stalling there remains an incentive for countries (and regions) to engage in bilateral agreements to open up markets and reduce trade and investment frictions. In this part of the research project, we examine the importance of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) for trade and investment flows respectively. Of particular interest is the impact of these agreements on third countries not covered by these agreements. In the case of PTAs, it may be expected that trade is diverted from these third countries to the two countries signing a PTA. While such an effect may also arise in the case of BITs, it is also possible that by signalling to potential investors that investor protection is taken seriously BITs will encourage investment flows from third countries also. In addition to examining the impact of PTAs and BITs on trade and investment for partner countries therefore, the main aim of this part of the project is to quantify the effects of such agreements on third countries. 2. Trade, FDI and firm-level performance in sub-Saharan Africa Using UNIDO’s African Investor Survey this part of the project assesses the role of foreign investment and a firm’s trade status on the performance of firms across 19 sub-Saharan countries. One aspect of this is to examine whether exporting, importing and foreign-owned firms perform better than non-exporting, non-importing and domestically-owned firms across a number of performance measures (related to productivity, wages, employment, and so on). During this part of the analysis and to the extent possible, we look to identify a causal effect of trade and foreign ownership, examining whether improved performance leads to trade and foreign takeover, or whether it is trade and foreign ownership that improve performance. Related to this, the project also considers whether firms that themselves engage in foreign direct investment perform better than those that do not. A second aspect of this section of the project is to examine the characteristics and determinants of trade status (and whether firms engage in outward FDI). Of particular interest here is the question of whether such characteristics differ by export market. 3. Migration and Globalisation – Impacts and Interactions Migration continues to become increasingly relevant, both to policymakers and academics. This part of the project considers the impact of migration on host economies, but moves away from a discussion of the growth and fiscal impacts of migration. The purpose is to contribute to the current economic debate on the benefits and costs of immigration by considering how migration impacts upon and interacts with other forces of globalisation. The issues considered in this section of the project can be summarised as: (i) What is the impact of immigration on FDI flows, and on North-South FDI flows in particular? To date, there has been little work conducted on the relationship between FDI and migration. We will use best practice gravity modelling to shed more light on this relationship; (ii) Are there interactions between migration, trade and FDI flows, and in what direction do they work? Most existing studies concentrate on the relationship between migration and trade (or FDI), failing to account for migration jointly determining trade and FDI, and ignoring feedback effects from trade and FDI to migration; (iii) Does migration help explain services trade flows? Studies of migration and trade focus exclusively on goods trade. The current project will fill a gap in the literature by examining the relationship between migration and services trade, the flows of which have increased rapidly in the recent past; (iv) What is the relationship between migration and innovation in developed and developing countries, and does the strength of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection influence this relationship? The impact of IPRs on the decision to migrate (particularly for skilled workers) and upon the relationship between skilled migration and innovation remains a largely unexplored empirical research area; (v) Are migration and offshoring complements or substitutes, and how do these flows impact upon indigenous labour? In particular, we are interested in examining whether employment of migrants and/or offshoring impact upon employment, wages and employment elasticities of native workers. 4. Offshoring and Global Value Chains Despite a blip during the recent crisis, the offshoring of production continues to increase, with offshoring of higher-skilled tasks, and services in particular, also increasing rapidly. Related to this, the production network – even for single products – is becoming increasingly international, creating extensive Global Value Chains (GVCs). This section of the project is concerned with the measurement of offshoring and global value chains and their impacts. One aspect of this project therefore is to map the extent of GVCs in order to describe developments in countries’ involvement in GVCs, particularly for developing countries where information and existing evidence is limited. A second aspect examine the impact of offshoring on labour (i.e. employment, wages, relative wages and labour demand elasticities) as well as on the volatility of production and business cycle synchronisation.