What Is Real and What Is Not in the Global FDI Network?

The paper “What Is Real and What Is Not in the Global FDI Network?” (joint with Jannick Damgaard and Thomas Elkjaer) estimates the global FDI network while disentangling Phantom FDI and Real FDI and assigning Real FDI to ultimate investor economies.

The resulting database covering around 240 economies over the period 2009-2017 can be downloaded here: [database] [code]

Our results suggest that Phantom FDI into empty shell companies with no real activities and no links to the local economy account for around 40% of global FDI or almost $15 trillion in 2017.

The paper also develops indicators summarizing the exposure of individual economies to tax avoidance opportunities through inward and outward Phantom FDI.

The dataset with indicators of tax avoidance exposure can be downloaded here: [dataset]

The two datasets are documented in our IMF working paper, which can be downloaded here: [paper]