This presentation is part of: F10-1 International Trade and Commercial Policy

Investing in Conflict Zones: A Firm-Level Analysis

Chris Jones, Ph.D and Nigel Driffield, Ph.D. Economics & Strategy, Aston Business School, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B47ET, United Kingdom

The purpose of this paper is to examine, using panel data econometric techniques, the determinants of a firm’s strategy to invest in a conflict location. To the best of our knowledge this has not been done before. We use a large database of firm-level data that includes 2858 multinational firms that have a subsidiary in a developing country (during 1999-2006). Out of these firms 290 are classified as having a subsidiary in a conflict location. The choice of a conflict location is based on data from the Inter Country Risk Guide (ICRG). We start with the population of multinationals who have chosen to invest in low income countries with weak institutions. Our analysis then proceeds to explain the decision of those firms to invest in conflict locations. We have four hypotheses: (1) Firms with concentrated ownership are more likely to invest in a conflict region; (2) Firms from countries with weaker institutions are more likely to invest in conflict regions; (3) Firms and Countries with less concern over corporate social responsibility are more likely to invest in conflict countries; and (4) that there is large sector level differences in the propensity to invest in a conflict region. The results suggest that all of these hypotheses can be confirmed.