Determinants and impacts of inward FDI in Japan

  • Satomi Kimino

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research consists of three empirical studies. The first examines how source country characteristics affect the aggregate FDI inflows in the Japanese economy during the period of 1989-2002. Our results demonstrate that the stable investment climate of the home country is an essential factor indicating FDI inflows to Japan. By contrast, the export performance of the source country is negatively correlated with FDI inflows, indicating that international trade and FDI are substitutes. The second study identifies the determinants of foreign penetration across Japanese manufacturing sectors at the three-digit level during the period of 1997-2003. More importantly, this study examines the moderating effects of keiretsu affiliations on the relationship between various sectoral characteristics and foreign participation. The evidence of both horizontal and vertical keiretsu impacts on foreign penetration depends on not only different proxy measures used for inward FDI, but also on the level of technological sophistication in given sectors. In general, our results demonstrate that horizontally linked keiretsu are positively associated with foreign productions in knowledge-intensive sectors. By contrast, this effect becomes a significant entry barrier to foreign employment in low-tech sectors. The final study evaluates the impacts of a foreign presence on the productivity of Japanese manufacturing firms over the period of 1997-2003. Our results suggest that spillover effects largely differ according to the level of absorptive capacity of indigenous firms.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorNigel L Driffield (Supervisor)


  • Determinants
  • impacts
  • inward FDI
  • Japan

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