sources, notes, and bibliography.doc.docDocument Transcript
What follows is the general outline for the calculation of the overall levels of total foreign
investment, portfolio, and direct investment—referred to as “My preferred,” “My Total”
and “My calculation. Exceptions to these general rules are listed at the end of this section.
The reader is advised to note the “revision date” on the first worksheet of the file, as I
expect to continue to work on this issue. All data refer to stocks.
1900. Portfolio and direct investments were estimated as the sum of investments from
France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. French investment was
estimated as that of 1902 (converted at 0.193 US$/French Franc), taken from UN-
ECLA (1965), which uses Rippy (1948) and his sources. United Kingdom
investment was estimated as the average of the values for 1895 and 1905, from
Stone (1987), converted at 4.87 US$/£. The investment from the United States
was estimated by linear interpolation of the data for 1897 and 1908 in UN-ECLA
(1965). This procedure effectively assigns a value of U.S. portfolio investment in
1897 of zero, which while generally true is probably not accurate for Mexico.
Portfolio investment was taken to be the amount of loans to the respective
1914. The estimates for portfolio and direct were taken from UN-ECLA (1965) Tables 16
and 17, respectively.
1929. Portfolio investment was taken as “external public long-term debt outstanding”
from Table 23 of UN-ECLA (1965), whose source was Annual Reports of the
Corporation of Foreign Bondholders. Direct investment was calculated as the sum
of British investments in 1928, from Rippy (1959)—converted at 4.87 US$/£--and
United States direct investment, from US Department of Commerce (1960).
1938. Data were taken from Lewis (1948), with the separation between portfolio and
direct investment being carried out by examination of the information included
1950, 1957 and 1960. Debt from UN-ECLA (1965) Table 166.
1950 and 1957. Direct investment calculated as the sum of that from the U.K. (from Bank
of England United Kingdom Overseas Investments, subtracting government loans
from all securities) and from the United States, from U.S. Department of
1967 and 1971. Foreign direct investment from OECD (1972) and OECD (1973).
1970 to the present. Portfolio investment was taken to be total long term debt outstanding
(LDOD), as reported by the World Bank in the World Debt Tables and Global
Development Finance, and downloaded from the World Bank’s c-d rom in April,
1980 to the present. Direct investment was downloaded from the UNCTAD DITE
database (which became unavailable in June, 2004), that provided data that are
published in the World Investment Report.
Bolivia: 1929 debt was taken as U.S. debt, from Lewis (1938, 655). 1929 FDI uses data
from Manger (1931) on investment from Britain, Chile, and France.
Brazil: 1929 FDI incorporates Manger (1931, 1067) on investment from France.
Chile: 1929 FDI incorporates Manger (1931, 1068) on investment from Germany.
Colombia: 1950 FDI from UN-ECLA (1957).
Cuba: 1929 debt taken as the sum of that from the U.K., from Rippy (1959) and the U.S.,
from Lewis (1938). 1950 debt taken from IBRD (1951). Debt from 1990 taken
from ECLA Anuario Estadístico. 1950 FDI taken from IBRD (1951).
Guatemala: 1929 FDI from outside the U.S. taken from Manger (1931, 1072). FDI from
1980 from the World Investment Report, 2003
Jamaica: 1900 debt from Kesner (1981), 1914 debt taken from Halsey (1918, 455), 1929
debt from Statistical Abstract for the British Empire, 1929. Table 15. 1914 FDI
taken from Halsey (1918) pp. 457-461, 1929 FDI taken as the sum of U.S. plus
Canadian investment; the former from Dickens (1931), the latter from Armstrong
and Nelles (1988, 252).
Mexico: Debt and FDI for 1911, from D’Olwer (1965). FDI for 1929 sums to the data
from the U.K. and the U.S., the amounts for France, Spain and Germany, from
Manger (1931, 1073). FDI 1940-1970 from Sepulveda y Chumacero (1973).
Nicaragua: FDI from 1980 to the present from UNCTAD’s “Country Fact Sheet”, based
on the World Investment Report.
Panama: FDI from 1980 on was taken from the “Country Fact Sheet” of UNCTAD,
based on the World Investment Report
Paraguay: 1938 investments from France and the U.K. were rather arbitrarily split evenly,
between debt and FDI.
Peru: 1929 FDI from Italy, Germany, France, and “all others” taken from Manger (1931,
Venezuela: 1929 FDI includes estimates from other countries, from Manger (1931,
The accompanying Excel file represents an effort at collecting and making available
estimates of data on foreign investment for Latin American countries for the twentieth
century. As such, it continues my own work (Twomey 1998 and 2000). The second
reference discusses in some detail the practical and conceptual difficulties of such an
In the tables, blank spaces indicate that the data are not available, as do the “NA(),”
which prohibits a summation for including the datum as zero. Any interpolations other
than simple addition or subtraction are indicated by italics. With the goal of facilitating
readability, currency units in individual data series are only indicated if they are not U.S.
There are three considerations: the sub-categories of investment, the reliability of the
various sources of data, and the comparability of data, among countries, and over time.
For the past two or three decades, the IMF and the World Bank have been reporting
estimates of FDI and Debt (public and private) for these countries, which have, in most
cases, been generated by those countries’ officials. For the first half of the century,
however, most estimates of foreign investment are the results of research done by private
investigators, usually foreigners, who worked with incomplete data. This leads to
innumerable problems of non-comparability of data, among countries and over time.
For the last half century, academics working on this topic generally accepted the
categories utilized by the United States Department of Commerce--direct and portfolio
investment—where direct investment is identified by control of the enterprise, typically
estimated by ownership of more than a certain fraction of stock, such as 20 percent.
Portfolio investment was often identified with loans, which from the United States were
overwhelmingly given to governments, but this is not true elsewhere. My choice of
labeling as FDI all capital flows to the business sector avoids a major issue in the
literature, relating to the competitiveness of British entrepreneurs. An important work
that clarified the empirical magnitudes is Swedberg (1978).
There are two comments on this categorization. First, for the period before World War I,
Wilkins and her associates have introduced the category of Free Standing Company, “[A]
firm set up in one country for the purpose of doing business outside that country.”
(Wilkins and Schröter 1998, 3).” These enterprises are controlled by foreigners, typically
residents in the host country, in a situation in which the contact in the home country is
minimal-the proverbial nameplate on the door in the City. My own work (Twomey,
2000) was influenced by that suggestion, but I focused on isolating data on the railroads,
without attempting to distinguish between direct and portfolio. These spreadsheets have
not been completed on railroad investment.
A more recent modification of the direct/portfolio dichotomy relates to recent innovations
in the international capital markets. It is becoming easier to purchase non-controlling
shares of stock of enterprises located in other countries; the so-called portfolio equity
investment. The International Financial Statistics has been reporting this item along with
a fuller balance sheet of total overseas assets and liabilities; several Latin American
countries are so represented.
The UN-ECLA (1965) is the most important source for the estimates up through 1929.
One of the admirable qualities of this work is its thorough representation of the state of
knowledge up to that time. Nevertheless, it provides totals from different sources, and the
inconsistencies in the amounts from those sources are reflected in the tables in that
source. An important example is the change of estimates of US FDI in 1929, from Lewis
(1938) and US Department of Commerce (1960).
Any suggestions—or corrections—please notify me at <email@example.com>
Armstrong, C. and Nelles, H.V. (1988) Southern Exposure: Canadian promoters in Latin
America and the Caribbean, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Avramovic Dragoslav and Ravi Gulhati (1958) Debt Servicing Capacity and Post-War
Growth in International Indebtedness Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
1Bank of England (1950) United Kingdom Overseas Investments 1938 to 1948, London:
East and Blades, Ltd. Subsequently published annually until 1959.
Castro, Ana Celia. (1979) As Empresas Estrangeiras no Brasil 1860-1913, Rio de
Janeiro: Zahar Editores
Davis, L.E. and Huttenback, R.A. (1986) Mammon and the pursuit of Empire: The
political economy of British imperialism, 1860-1912, Cambridge: Cambridge
Díaz Alejandro, C.F. (1970) Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic,
New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dickens, P.D. (1931) "A New Estimate of American Investments Abroad," United States
Department of Commerce Trade Information Bulletin No. 767 reprinted by Arno
Press (1976) as part of Estimates of United States Direct Foreign Investment,
1929-43 and 1947, New York: Arno Press.
------ 1938. "American Direct Investments in Foreign Countries—1936," United States
Department of Commerce Bulletin reprinted by Arno Press (1976) as part of
Estimates of United States Direct Foreign Investment, 1929-43 and 1947, New
York: Arno Press.
D'Olwer, L.N. (1965) "Las inversiones extranjeras," Chapter X in D. Cosío Villegas (ed.)
Historia Moderna de México: El Porfiriato. La Vida Económica, México:
Dunning, J.H. (1983) “Changes in the level and structure of international production: the
last one hundred years,” in M. Casson (ed.) The Growth of International Business,
London: George Allen & Unwin.
Feis, Herbert (1930) Europe, the World’s Banker ???
García Mata, Carlos (1928) “Los capitals extranjeros en sud América,” Revista de
Economía Argentina XXI:No. 125 pp. 345-353.
Girvan, N. (1971) Foreign Capital and Economic Underdevelopment in Jamaica,
London: Unwin Brothers Ltd.
Great Britain, (1929) Statistical Abstract for the British Empire
Halsey, F. M. (1918) Investments in Latin America and the British West Indies, U.S.
Department of Commerce Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce Special
Agents Series No. 169. Washington, D.C.: GPO.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (1951) Report on Cuba,
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press. [The Truslow report].
Jara Letelier, A. and Muirhead, M.G. (1929) Chile en Sevilla, Santiago de Chile.
Kesner, Richard M. (1981) Economic Control and Colonial Development Westport:
Lewis, Cleona (1938) America's Stake in International Investments Washington, D.C.:
The Brookings Institution.
------ (1948) The United States and Foreign Investment Problems, Washington, D.C.: The
Mamalakis, Markos () Growth and Structure of the Chilean Economy
Manger, William (1931) “Foreign Investments in the American Republics,” Bulletin of
the Pan American Union October, pp. 1064-1077.
Monteón, Michael (1987) Chile in the Nitrate Era Madison: University of Wisconsin
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] (1972) Stock of
Private Direct Investments by D.A.C. Countries in Developing Countries: End
1967, Paris: OECD.
------ (1973) Development Co-operation, Paris: OECD.
------ Annual International Direct Investments Statistics Yearbook, Paris: OECD.
Regalsky, Andrés (2002) Mercados, inversores y elites: Las inversions francesas en la
Argentina 1880-1914, Buenos Aires: Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero.
Rinke, Stefan (1995) “From Informal Imperial to Transnational Relations,” Itinerario
Rippy, J.F. (1948) “French Investments in Latin America,” Inter-American Economic
------ (1959) British Investments in Latin America, 1822-1949, Hamden, CT.: Archon
Sepúlveda, B. and Chumacero A. (1973) La inversión extranjera en México, México,
D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
Staley, E. (1935) War and the Private Investor, Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Co.
Swedberg, Peter (1978) “The portfolio-direct composition of private foreign investment
in 1914 revisited,” The Economic Journal 88: 763-777.
Stone, I. (1987) The Composition and Distribution of British Investment in Latin
America, 1865 to 1913, (Reprint of the author's Ph.D. thesis of 1962). New York:
------ (1999) The Global Export of Capital from Great Britain, 1865-1914 [:] A
Statistical Survey, Houndsmills: Macmillan Press.
Tosco, E. (1957) "Capital Existente de Honduras, C.A." and “Cuentas Nacionales
1925-1955” mimeos published by the Departamento de Estudios Económicos of
the Banco Central de Honduras.
Trade and Industry, U.K. government publication
Twomey, Michael J. (1998) “Patterns of Foreign Investment in Latin America in the Twentieth
Century,” in J. H. Coatsworth and A.M. Taylor (eds) Latin America and the World Economy
Since 1800, Harvard: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Harvard
University Press. Spanish translation of a somewhat longer version is "Tendencias en la
inversión extranjera en los paises del tercer mundo en el siglo xx," in Revista de Economía,
Vol. XXI Number 41, June 1998 pp. 9-60. (Lima, Peru).
------ (2000) A Century of Foreign Investment in the Third World London: Routledge
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development [UNCTAD] (1997) World
Investment Report, 1997 TNCs, Market Structure and Competition Policy, New
York: United Nations. Data available on UNCTAD’s website
United Nations Economic Committee on Latin America [UN-ECLA] (1954)
Antecedentes sobre el desarrollo de la economía Chilena, 1925-1952, Santiago de
Chile: Editorial del Pacífico
------- (1957) Analyses and Projections of Economic Development III. The Economic
Development of Colombia, Geneva: United Nations
------ (1965) External Financing in Latin America, New York: United Nations.
------- (annual) Anuario Estadístico
United States Department of Commerce (1960) U.S. Business Investments in Foreign
Countries, Washington, D.C.: USGPO.
------ (1975) U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, 1966: Final Data, Washington, D.C.:
Wilkins, M. (ed.) (1977) British Overseas Investments: 1907-1948, New York: Arno
------ (1988) “The free-standing company, 1870-1914: an important type of British
foreign direct investment,” Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 41, 2: 259-82.
------ and Schröter, H. (eds) (1998) The Free Standing Company in the World Economy
1830-1996, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Will, H. A. (1970) “Colonial Policy and Economic Development in the British West
Indies, 1895-1903,” Economic History Review 2nd Series, 43, 1: 129-47.
Winkler, Max (1971 ) Investments of United States Reprinted by Kennikat Press
Woodruff, W. (1967) Impact of Western Man: A Study of Europe's Role in the World
Economy 1750-1960, New York: St. Martin's Press.
World Bank, annual. World Debt Tables. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
Subsequently titled Global Financial Indicators.