Gender Disparity in Education and the International Competition for Foreign Direct Investment
With few exceptions, the empirical literature on foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to be gender blind. This paper contributes to filling this gap by assessing the importance of gender inequality in education as a determinant of FDI. The authors estimate a standard gravity model on bilateral FDI flows that is augmented by educational variables, including different measures of gender inequality in education. The analysis covers an unprecedented number of both host and source countries of FDI, thereby reducing the risk of distorted results because of a sample selection bias. The results support the view that foreign investors are more likely to favor locations where education-related gender disparities are small. However, the discouraging effects of gender disparity on FDI are restricted to middle-income (rather than low-income) developing host countries and to investors from developed (rather than developing) countries.
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