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Essays on Corruption, Government Transparency and Foreign Direct Investment Open Access

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Three essays on the common theme “Corruption, Transparency and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)” comprise this dissertation. Broadly speaking, this dissertation addresses global issues at the intersection of business, government and civil society that affect economic development, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability. My objective is to offer insight on how business and government can collaboratively achieve greater progress on curbing corruption and on stimulating economic development in emerging markets. Evidence is drawn from both proprietary primary and secondary data sources.The three essays in this dissertation explore institutional distance between host and home countries on the dimensions of corruption, government transparency and coercive power. The focus is on how these institutional distances shape multinational enterprises' (MNEs') investment decisions in emerging markets. In the first essay, the focus is on understanding the effect of emerging markets’ governmental transparency on MNEs’ behavior as it relates to corruption. I study the topic from a theoretical neoinstitutional perspective. Gaining insight on this topic is challenging due to the fact that government transparency – the quantity and quality of information that is made available to the public and is relevant to evaluating a country’s institutions ‒ is difficult to measure across a variety of institutional environments. In the second essay, I analyze the effects of corruption on the amount of FDI in disruptive technologies vs. conventional technologies. My empirical approach in the second essay is based on panel data of firm-level amount of investment to a country, as the primary dependent variable, and on Bayesian statistical analysis. The third essay ties together the first two essays of this dissertation and focuses on top executives’ country choice decisions as they relate to host government transparency and corruption. In the third essay, to overcome the challenges of paucity of data on executives’ country entry decisions, I perform an experimental design analysis with a scenario-based survey.This dissertation presents a richer view of the relationship between firms’ investment decisions and institutions in the global economy, and extends the theory on government transparency, corruption, and FDI in disruptive technology. The study synthesizes ideas from economics, political science, sociology, and international relations to bring fresh perspective and more nuanced understanding of the dynamics between institutions and MNEs' cross-border investments.

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