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Over the last three decades the global economy has expanded in a remarkable fashion. While nominal world GDP has increased four times, world bilateral trade flows have grown more than six-fold, and the stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown by roughly 20 times since 1980. The sources of global trade and investment growth are well known - general economic expansion, policy liberalization, and better communications and technology - but the impact of each source is unclear. In this paper the authors attempt to uncover the contribution of policy liberalization to the rising ratios of US inward and outward FDI stocks to GDP over the last three decades.
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