The impact of foreign direct investment on international conflict

Solomon Polachek, Carlos Seiglie, Jun Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper extends the analysis of the conflict-trade relationship by introducing foreign direct investment (FDI). We present a formal model that shows why FDI can improve international relations. We then proceed to test the model empirically. Our empirical results show that foreign direct investment plays a similar role to trade in affecting international interactions. More specifically, we find that the flow of FDI has reduced the degree of international conflict and encouraged co-operation between dyads during the period of the late 1980s and the decade of the 1990s. This is an especially important result since one of the main characteristics of globalization has been the reduction of barriers to international capital flows and, as a consequence, the amounts of capital flows have expanded enormously dwarfing those of trade flows. The policy implication of our finding is that further international co-operation in reducing barriers to capital flows can promote a more peaceful world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-429
Number of pages15
JournalDefence and Peace Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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