Date of Award

4-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Second Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Ryan

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has long been shown to be an important driver of economic growth as well as a source of knowledge transfer in host countries. Italy, now the tenth largest economy in the world, has a remarkable distribution of FDI characterized by a metropolitan industrial North and what is commonly referred to as an economically unfit or "backwards" South. Given these regional differences, Italy faces many interesting challenges in attracting FDI in the current global economic climate. The nation must attract capital to less-developed regions as well as to the extensive industrial clusters in the North that are home to some of the world's most recognized and successful firms.

To this end, the current study investigates the geographic distribution of FDI in Italy over a time period of 10 years using a comprehensive database collected from several sources, but primarily the database "Aida" (sub-sample of the European database "Amadeus") which includes the balance sheet of all registered firms operating in Italy from 2000 to 2010. This study incorporates a multi-method approach including statistical analysis of an enhanced Aida database, the creation of a GIS, and information gathered via a series of semi-structured interviews of factory managers in Italy to place the statistical data in appropriate context.

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