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Terrorism, Counterterrorism Aid, and Foreign Direct Investment

Chia-yi Lee
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fpa.12087 168-187 First published online: 19 May 2016


Foreign investors generally refrain from entering countries with high political risks. As an often seen type of political risk, terrorism may deter foreign investors by creating an unsafe investment environment. This paper explores whether terrorism reduces foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and argues that foreign investors adjust their information by observing whether the host country has the capability to deal with terrorism. Foreign aid from the United States used specifically for counterterrorism is an effective signal of a recipient's counterterrorism potential. Using two commonly used terrorism data sets and drawing upon a time-series cross-sectional data analysis, this paper finds that while terrorism can be an obstacle to FDI inflows, countries that receive more counterterrorism aid are less vulnerable to this adverse effect. It also shows that conflict-tied aid mitigates the negative effect of terrorism on FDI because it sends a similar signal to foreign investors.

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