Date of Award

Summer 8-21-2023

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Edward Sayre

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joseph St. Marie

Committee Member 2 School

Coastal Resilience

Committee Member 3

Dr. Robert Pauly

Committee Member 3 School

Coastal Resilience

Committee Member 4

Dr. Tom Lansford

Committee Member 4 School

Coastal Resilience

Abstract

This dissertation focuses on the relationship between FDI inflows and entrepreneurial activity at the country level in a 3-essay format. Building on the competing theories of knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship (KTSE) and the occupational choice model (OCM), this research seeks to determine if FDI inflows and entrepreneurship are complimentary or competing phenomenon.

Essay 1 analyzes the existing comparative entrepreneurship measures available through a correlation matrix using panel study data from 172 countries and territories from 2006 to 2019. This essay finds that the available measures of comparative entrepreneurship are not as highly correlated as anticipated and that there are major challenges with missing data within the available options of variables for country level entrepreneurial activity.

Essay 2 seeks to determine if FDI inflows influence entrepreneurship at the country level. Using panel data from 154 countries during the years of 2006 through 2019, this study tests the relationship of FDI inflows on new venture creation. The study also controls for other explanatory variables influencing entrepreneurship including GDP level, population, corruption level, trade policy, education level, and government effectiveness. This essay did not find a significant direct relationship between FDI inflows and entrepreneurial activity. However, a significant direct relationship between education level and entrepreneurial activity was found.

In Essay 3 the model was expanded to analyze key interaction variables which may moderate the relationship between FDI and entrepreneurship and to test for the possibility of a curvilinear relationship between FDI inflows and country-level entrepreneurship. A curvilinear relationship was found between the two variables of interest, while the interaction variables were not found to direct significant influence on the relationship. This research makes a theoretical contribution to both the FDI spillover and comparative entrepreneurship literature.

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