Historical Legacies and Foreign Direct Investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Historical Legacies and Foreign Direct Investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This paper examines the origins of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) with special reference to historical legacies. BiH is a very interesting case because of its position on the frontier of Europe, a region with a rich cultural history marked by alternating periods of coexistence and violence. Because the country has spent time under the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav flags, particular attention is paid to the role of history in impacting inflows of FDI. Five models are specified using various dependent variables to measure FDI, and all uphold the importance of historical legacies and cultural proximity. Equally interesting is the absence of significance among traditional gravity variables in this unique investment landscape. Policy implications include the need for government to assist firms in overcoming concern about instability, corruption, and a complex permitting process. As little has been published on FDI in BiH, future research suggestions are presented.

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