The Location Choice of Foreign Direct Investments: Empirical Evidence and Methodological Challenges

Bo Bernhard Nielsen, Christian Geisler Asmussen, Cecilie Dohlmann Weatherall

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The choice of location of foreign direct investments (FDI) by multinational enterprises (MNEs) has been the subject of intense scrutiny for decades and continues to be so. Yet, the vast diversity in methodological approaches, levels of analysis, and empirical evidence precludes a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. We review and evaluate 153 quantitative studies on FDI location choice over four decades from 1976 to 2015 across multiple disciplines, including international business, management, economics, urban and regional studies, and economic geography. Our review provides a comprehensive analysis of the empirical evidence and methodological implications to guide future empirical research on FDI location choice.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of World Business
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)62-82
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Location choice
    • Foreign direct investments
    • Global cities
    • Agglomeration
    • Institutional theory
    • Empirical evidence
    • Methodological challenges

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