The composition of foreign capital stocks in South Africa: The role of institutions, domestic risk and neighbourhood effects

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Abstract

Foreign capital inflows are an important source of funds to finance investment in developing economies. International finance literature is therefore concerned with how institutional factors like property rights and corruption affect foreign capital inflows. We investigate the determinants of the absolute volumes and composition of foreign capital stocks in South Africa, focusing on the role played by institutional quality (property rights), domestic default risk and neighbourhood effects as potential determinants. The empirical results show that secure property rights and low default risk in the host country positively affect the absolute volumes of both long-term foreign capital and short-term foreign capital, but tilt the composition in favour of long-term foreign capital. Empirical results also demonstrate the existence of neighbourhood effects where the institutional environment in Zimbabwe significantly impacts on South Africa's foreign capital inflows. In this regard, weak property rights in Zimbabwe lead to an increase in South Africa's foreign direct investment (FDI), but a reduction in South Africa's portfolio investment. This suggests that Zimbabwe and South Africa compete for foreign direct investment in similar sectors, and present two alternative investment destinations to foreign investors. By contrast, weak property rights in Zimbabwe appear to raise the perceived risk for portfolio investment in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-770
Number of pages8
JournalEconomic Modelling
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

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Neighborhood effects
Foreign capital
Capital stock
South Africa
Property rights
Zimbabwe
Capital inflows
Portfolio investment
Empirical results
Foreign direct investment
Default risk
Foreign investors
Perceived risk
Host country
Developing economies
Corruption
Institutional factors
Institutional quality
Finance
Alternative investments

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

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title = "The composition of foreign capital stocks in South Africa: The role of institutions, domestic risk and neighbourhood effects",
abstract = "Foreign capital inflows are an important source of funds to finance investment in developing economies. International finance literature is therefore concerned with how institutional factors like property rights and corruption affect foreign capital inflows. We investigate the determinants of the absolute volumes and composition of foreign capital stocks in South Africa, focusing on the role played by institutional quality (property rights), domestic default risk and neighbourhood effects as potential determinants. The empirical results show that secure property rights and low default risk in the host country positively affect the absolute volumes of both long-term foreign capital and short-term foreign capital, but tilt the composition in favour of long-term foreign capital. Empirical results also demonstrate the existence of neighbourhood effects where the institutional environment in Zimbabwe significantly impacts on South Africa's foreign capital inflows. In this regard, weak property rights in Zimbabwe lead to an increase in South Africa's foreign direct investment (FDI), but a reduction in South Africa's portfolio investment. This suggests that Zimbabwe and South Africa compete for foreign direct investment in similar sectors, and present two alternative investment destinations to foreign investors. By contrast, weak property rights in Zimbabwe appear to raise the perceived risk for portfolio investment in South Africa.",
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N2 - Foreign capital inflows are an important source of funds to finance investment in developing economies. International finance literature is therefore concerned with how institutional factors like property rights and corruption affect foreign capital inflows. We investigate the determinants of the absolute volumes and composition of foreign capital stocks in South Africa, focusing on the role played by institutional quality (property rights), domestic default risk and neighbourhood effects as potential determinants. The empirical results show that secure property rights and low default risk in the host country positively affect the absolute volumes of both long-term foreign capital and short-term foreign capital, but tilt the composition in favour of long-term foreign capital. Empirical results also demonstrate the existence of neighbourhood effects where the institutional environment in Zimbabwe significantly impacts on South Africa's foreign capital inflows. In this regard, weak property rights in Zimbabwe lead to an increase in South Africa's foreign direct investment (FDI), but a reduction in South Africa's portfolio investment. This suggests that Zimbabwe and South Africa compete for foreign direct investment in similar sectors, and present two alternative investment destinations to foreign investors. By contrast, weak property rights in Zimbabwe appear to raise the perceived risk for portfolio investment in South Africa.

AB - Foreign capital inflows are an important source of funds to finance investment in developing economies. International finance literature is therefore concerned with how institutional factors like property rights and corruption affect foreign capital inflows. We investigate the determinants of the absolute volumes and composition of foreign capital stocks in South Africa, focusing on the role played by institutional quality (property rights), domestic default risk and neighbourhood effects as potential determinants. The empirical results show that secure property rights and low default risk in the host country positively affect the absolute volumes of both long-term foreign capital and short-term foreign capital, but tilt the composition in favour of long-term foreign capital. Empirical results also demonstrate the existence of neighbourhood effects where the institutional environment in Zimbabwe significantly impacts on South Africa's foreign capital inflows. In this regard, weak property rights in Zimbabwe lead to an increase in South Africa's foreign direct investment (FDI), but a reduction in South Africa's portfolio investment. This suggests that Zimbabwe and South Africa compete for foreign direct investment in similar sectors, and present two alternative investment destinations to foreign investors. By contrast, weak property rights in Zimbabwe appear to raise the perceived risk for portfolio investment in South Africa.

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