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Full Access Financial Development, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Efficiency of Capital Allocation in China

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Financial Development, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Efficiency of Capital Allocation in China

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We study the roles of local financial development and foreign direct investment, and more importantly, their interaction with one another, in local capital allocation, based on Chinese industrial and regional data. Our main finding is that, although local financial development and FDI each individually tended to improve the efficiency of local capital allocation during the sample period, they tended to compete and crowd out each other’s effect, so that one impaired the individual function of the other. In particular, there exists a threshold value for local financial development, above which an increase in FDI reduces the efficiency of local capital allocation, rather than improve it. On the other hand, there exists a threshold value for FDI, above which further development in the local financial system lowers the efficiency of local capital allocation, rather than increase it. Our estimations suggest that the levels of FDI and local financial development in some relatively more developed Chinese regions have already surpassed such threshold values. We provide some interpretations of our findings and we discuss potential policy implications.


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