International Economics

<< N°164

Issue Q4 2020  
Understanding how foreign direct investment inflows impact urbanization in Africa  
Carl Grekou
Ferdinand Owoundi
This paper investigates the relationship between FDIs inflows and urbanization in Africa. To improve on the existing literature, we look beyond the conventional definition of urbanization based only on the number of people living in urban areas. Our broader approach includes both the amount of CO2 emissions in urban areas and the value addition of services. Relying on a large sample of African countries, we find FDIs inflows to have significantly influenced the momentum of urbanization on the continent, irrespective of the proxy for urbanization. Resource-seeking FDIs seems to be more responsible for this phenomenon than the market-seeking ones, implying that FDIs are detrimental to the environment, especially when the quality of institutions is low. These results suggest that African governments should enhance smart, sustainable policies to attract more market-seeking FDI while mitigating detrimental effects on the environment.

C33 ; F21 ; J11 ; O18 ; P25 ; JEL classification
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