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The Political Sociology of Foreign Direct Investment

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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Theory and research in sociology and political economy have revealed important elements of the structure of world capitalism, but its dynamics remain both more controversial and more opaque. This study uses quantitative cross-national regression analysis to analyze the determinants of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which originates in core (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations and is placed in noncore nations. Based on the theory of global capitalism, which contends that in a new stage of capitalism, First World manufacturing investment seeks Third World labor which is more docile and less costly than that in the older industrial regions, this study finds support for the hypotheses that labor control and, to a lesser degree, labor cost are determinants of FDI, net of level of development.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Clark University, 950 Main St., Worcester, MA 01610


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