This paper investigates the effect of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative on China's outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) using a dataset of all host countries for the period of 2010-2015. The employed econometric technique combines a difference-in-differences estimator with matching techniques. The results show that China's OFDI in OBOR countries is about 40% higher than in non-OBOR countries. After the initiative, the OFDI from China increases by 46.2% in OBOR countries. However, after controlling for the heterogeneity across OBOR and non-OBOR countries using the matching approach, the significance of the increasing effect caused by the OBOR initiative disappears. We also find the OBOR initiative diminishes the resource-seeking motivation and improves the market-seeking motivation of China's OFDI. Our results cast doubts on the infrastructure-led and institution-based strategy of the OBOR initiative, but support the boosting effect of the OBOR initiative on institutional cooperation and cultural convergence. Thus, the OBOR initiative is a sustainable continuation and development of the long tradition of economic, institutional, and cultural convergence with the OBOR countries, rather than a temporary policy shock.
- Cultural distance
- Institutional distance
- One Belt One Road (OBOR)
- Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI)
- Treatment effect models