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Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct InvestmentAvoiding Simplicity, Embracing Complexity$
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Stephen D. Cohen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179354.001.0001

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 Perceptions and Economic Ideologies

 Perceptions and Economic Ideologies

(p.93) 5 Perceptions and Economic Ideologies
Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment

Stephen D. Cohen

Oxford University Press

This chapter expounds on another core argument of this book: given the paucity of universally accepted or empirically demonstrable truths, perceptions usually determine whether an individual views MNCs and FDI as being positive and desirable or negative and harmful phenomena. The first section is an overview analysis of economic ideology. It focuses on the important role that individual beliefs concerning the larger question of the virtues of free, unfettered markets versus government intervention in the economy shape attitudes towards multinational enterprises. In keeping with the eclectic, non-judgmental approach of this study, the second and third sections summarize valid intellectual arguments that can be made on behalf of, respectively, the wealth and efficiency-creating virtues of private enterprise and the need for government to protect the majority from the income-distorting avarice of big corporations. After a discussion of the roles of MNCs and FDI in the debate about the merits of globalization, a final section introduces yet another integrating theme of this study: the virtues of a middle-ground synthesis as opposed to an extreme government versus markets model of managing national economies and the international economic order.

Keywords:   anti-globalization, capitalism, Marxism, corruption, public choice theory, labor, income distribution

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