5 Mar 2019
The Demand-Side Politics of China’s Global Buying Spree: Individual Attitudes toward Chinese Inward FDI Flows in Comparative Perspective
WTI Working Paper 02/2019 by SNSF Professor Damian Raess investigates public opinion toward Chinese FDI inflows in Switzerland. Prof. Raess delivered a Brown Bag Seminar on 12 March at the WTI on the same topic.
I investigate public opinion toward Chinese FDI inflows in advanced economies, comparing attitudes toward such investment with attitudes toward American and European FDI inflows. Specifically, I probe whether the threats of technology transfer and of social dumping associated with Chinese FDI resonate among the key target audiences. First, I expect managers to oppose Chinese FDI, while I do not expect similar opposition to American or European FDI. Second, I expect union members to oppose Chinese FDI, and to support European FDI more than they do American and, especially, Chinese FDI. Using original survey data from Switzerland, I find strong support for the expectations regarding managers. Surprisingly, union members do not oppose Chinese FDI, but they support European and to a lesser extent American FDI. The findings point to occupational characteristics and unions as key factors shaping FDI preferences, and suggest that the demand-side politics of Chinese inward FDI is unique.