A new FDI potential index : design and application to the EU regions.
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The aim of this paper is to propose a new way of computing the FDI Potential Index to address the issue of FDI attractiveness at the EU regional level. This new index employs a sound way of selecting the variables involved in its construction, for which a factor analysis is performed. Accordingly, six factors (“economic potential”, “market size”, “labour situation”, “technological progress”, “labour regulation” and “competitiveness”) are identified. Next, by applying the methodology of composite indicators and considering different weighting and aggregation schemes, three versions (un-weighted linear, weighted linear and weighted geometric) of the new FDI Potential Index are computed. Afterwards, the comparison of the weighted linear version of the Potential Index with the conventional FDI Performance Index allows us to apply the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) FDI typology. The results reveal considerable heterogeneity among EU regions in terms of FDI attractiveness, and that regions belonging to the same group of the UNCTAD classification are highly concentrated from a geographical perspective. In view of these findings, we compute an additional version of both the FDI Potential and Performance indices, in which the geographical location of each region plays a key role. Based on these spatial indices, some general policy implications are drawn.
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