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Forecasting Foreign Direct Investment with Modified Diffusion Model

Authors: Bi-Huei Tsai


Prior research has not effectively investigated how the profitability of Chinese branches affect FDIs in China [1, 2], so this study for the first time incorporates realistic earnings information to systematically investigate effects of innovation, imitation, and profit factors of FDI diffusions from Taiwan to China. Our nonlinear least square (NLS) model, which incorporates earnings factors, forms a nonlinear ordinary differential equation (ODE) in numerical simulation programs. The model parameters are obtained through a genetic algorithms (GA) technique and then optimized with the collected data for the best accuracy. Particularly, Taiwanese regulatory FDI restrictions are also considered in our modified model to meet the realistic conditions. To validate the model-s effectiveness, this investigation compares the prediction accuracy of modified model with the conventional diffusion model, which does not take account of the profitability factors. The results clearly demonstrate the internal influence to be positive, as early FDI adopters- consistent praises of FDI attract potential firms to make the same move. The former erects a behavior model for the latter to imitate their foreign investment decision. Particularly, the results of modified diffusion models show that the earnings from Chinese branches are positively related to the internal influence. In general, the imitating tendency of potential consumers is substantially hindered by the losses in the Chinese branches, and these firms would invest less into China. The FDI inflow extension depends on earnings of Chinese branches, and companies will adjust their FDI strategies based on the returns. Since this research has proved that earning is an influential factor on FDI dynamics, our revised model explicitly performs superior in prediction ability than conventional diffusion model.

Keywords: diffusion model, genetic algorithms, nonlinear leastsquares (NLS) model, prediction error.

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