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Title: Foreign direct investment and population health in low and middle income countries
Author: Burns, Darren
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 9846
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2018
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Opinions are divided on the health impacts of multi-national corporations (MNCs), and their foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in low and middle income countries (LMICs). MNCs in LMICs have been associated with unsafe or unsanitary working conditions, pollution, and aggressively marketing of unhealthy foods. This suggests a harmful impact on population health. Yet, FDI also generates employment, income, and growth, implying some benefits to population health. FDI flows may not be the only factor determining their ultimate impact on health. It is currently unclear whether FDI into different industries or whole sectors is related to health impacts, and also whether geographic clustering of FDI is associated with an impact on population health. The relationship between FDI and population health is investigated here, beginning with a systematic review of quantitative literature surrounding international trade and non-nutritional health outcomes. This highlights four important messages: FDI is likely a determinant of health in LMICs; the importance of sample selection and considering heterogeneity; bi-directional causality between FDI and health; and the underuse of individual level datasets to investigate the association. Later chapters seek to respond in different ways to these messages, firstly using instrumental variable methods to investigate FDI and overall population health in LMICs. This indicates FDI to be associated with overall population health benefits, yet provides some evidence that manufacturing FDI is associated with harm. The second study utilises individual level data and spatial techniques to investigate FDI and nutritional health in Chinese adults, indicating that FDI is positively associated with increased BMI amongst Chinese adults. The final study investigates FDI and smoking in Russian adults, suggesting that FDI is associated with increased smoking. Overall, this thesis suggests that FDI has a positive effect in general on overall health, yet is harmful when looking in more specific contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available