Texto para Discussão, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA) 1419
This paper analyzes the logic of expansion of multinational corporations and their determinants in order to understand the dynamics and the main features of global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the eighties. This is an analytical review of historical and theoretical approach that seeks to raise the main factors explaining the changes in the nature and direction taken by foreign direct investment and by technical progress in the recent period, compared with its configuration from the post-war to the end of seventies. In this direction, the text is divided as follows: the first part describes the process of internationalization of production emerged in the immediate post-war, focusing on the logic of expansive multinational corporation under the Bretton Woods consensus, extending the analysis from 1950 until the rise of U.S. interest rates in 1979. The second part will deal with changes in the logic of multinational expansion from 1980, under the emergence of a new institutional framework characterized by globalization of finance. It aims to show that the two institutional environments conditioned different corporative strategies and investment location for multinational corporations related to main changes in the rules of FDI and international trade. The third part deals with some considerations about the main characteristics assumed by FDI post-1980 the light of some empirical evidence. In the final part some remarks will be taken for conclusions.