Selling China: Foreign Direct Investment during the Reform Era

Selling China: Foreign Direct Investment during the Reform Era

Selling China: Foreign Direct Investment during the Reform Era

Selling China: Foreign Direct Investment during the Reform Era

Synopsis

This book about China's integration into the world economy proposes a radically different perspective. Most economists view China's large foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows as the result of China's economic success. This study views the same phenomenon as a function of the imperfections in the Chinese economic system. It uses economic theory to explain FDI to a greater extent than previous studies on the same topic. It also presents comparative FDI data of additional countries, making it more comprehensive than previous studies which focused only on China.

Excerpt

Field research on this book began in the fall of 1998, after I joined the faculty of Harvard Business School. the project represented a steep learning curve. My previous work had dealt with general political economy issues and with public policy institutions in China. Foreign direct investment (FDI) as an economic phenomenon and many detailed aspects of the Chinese economy were a substantial departure from both the empirical focus and the methodological approach of my earlier research.

Harvard Business School provided a rich and stimulating environment as I delved into this new topic. I became acquainted with and, gradually, engaged in many business and fdi issues by learning from my colleagues and by teaching and developing course materials for one of the most successful courses at Harvard Business School: Business, Government and International Economy, popularly known among our students as “BGIE.” As readers will discover, the thrust of the argument I develop in this book is strongly institutional, an area of political economy I have always been interested in, but my institutional argument is anchored in a firm understanding of the business dynamics and economic logic of fdi issues. in this respect, I have benefited greatly from my affiliation with Harvard Business School.

In addition to a helpful learning environment as I embarked upon a different intellectual trajectory, I benefited specifically from the advice and guidance of my colleagues. My thanks first go to Professors Pankaj Ghemawat, Tom McCraw, Debora Spar, and Lou Wells, who patiently read several drafts of this book, closely followed the progress — as well as the setbacks — of the project, and provided detailed and valuable comments on the argument, tone, and organizational structure of the book. Professors Tarun Khanna, George Lodge, Huw Pill, Julio Rotemberg, Bruce Scott, Richard Vietor, and David Yoffie kindly read a finished draft, and their comments helped me sharpen the argument and avoid some of the errors that might have gone undetected.

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