University of Bath

Migrant networks and investment promotion: Evidence from the United States

In this seminar, Dr Christopher Parsons from the University of Western Australia will discuss his research into the United States resettlement programme.

18 Jun 20184.15pm
18 Jun 20185.45pm
A Vietnamese and United States passport on top of the United States flag
The seminar will examine the resettlement of Vietnamese people in the United States

Dr Christopher Parsons will examine the role of migrant networks in fostering Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and in doing so, highlight a pro-development effect of overseas diasporas on both origin and destination countries.

In his talk he will present his analysis of the first wave of Vietnamese that settled in the United States following the Fall of Saigon, at a time when an embargo which outlawed FDI flows between the United States and Vietnam was abruptly lifted.

Using a large sample of individual-level refugee and project-level FDI data, the results show that those United States commuting zones that host larger concentrations of Vietnamese migrants invest more in Vietnam. The effect is stronger for FDI to the south of Vietnam, where Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is located, than to Hanoi, the former capital of northern Vietnam.

Importantly, Vietnamese networks amplified the pro-FDI effect of the 2005 Investment and Enterprise Laws and the 2008 Law of Vietnamese Nationality, thereby highlighting important avenues through which developing countries can harness their overseas communities.

Further supportive evidence comes from the analysis of the effect of refugees to the United States who were randomly spatially distributed across the country by the state. Dr Parsons will demonstrate that a ten percent increase in the number of refugees initially placed within a given commuting zone increases FDI from their country of origin by 0.19%.