“Will Fiscal Decentralization Influence FDI Inflows? A Spatial Study of Chinese Cities”

Jing Wang, Chongqing Technology and Business University

Wei Wei, Central China Normal University

HuiHui Deng

Yihua Yu, Renmin University of China


Will fiscal decentralization policy impact Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in China? Will cities attract FDI at the expense of the environment? This study aims to answer these questions using China’s city-level data in 2014 and a spatial Durbin modelling approach. We find that: (1) Fiscal decentralization does promote FDI inflows; (2) FDI inflows show significant positive spatial agglomeration and spillover effects; (3) lower environmental regulation stringency contributes to attracting FDI inflows and a stricter environmental regulation stringency in neighboring cities would impede local FDI inflows; (4) a lower level of environmental regulation stringency would, ceteris paribus, deteriorate fiscal decentralization’s stimulation on FDI inflows.