Working paper: What is real and what is not in the global FDI network?

Working paper - December 2019 - No. 148

Authors Elkjaer, Thomas (International Monetary Fund); Johannesen, Niels (University of Copenhagen and CEBI); Damgaard, Jannick
Subject International Monetary Fund - IMF; Direct investments
Type Working paper
Year 2019
Published 11 December 2019
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data sources to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI.