Author's School

University College

Author's Department/Program

International Affairs


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Nathan Jensen


Foreign Direct Investment: FDI) brings benefits to host countries' populations, using job creation, opportunities for education, training, and technology. The host country benefits from FDI inflows, improving its economy, introducing new technology, organizational and managerial skills that help domestic companies while improving its political institutions. This author chose five countries of Latin America with different political systems and economic policies: Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba and Costa Rica. The goal of this thesis is to find out what kind of political systems and social environments in Latin America are best for attracting FDIs, and what are the obstacles those Latin American countries in non-democratic and authoritarian governments confront when trying to attract FDI. This author researched data and multiple surveys with MNCs from public, private and non-governmental organizations. The findings of this thesis show that despite the violence and criminality in these countries, Brazil and Mexico are the top ranked countries in attracting the most FDI inflows. It was evident that MNCs prefer democratic governments, such as Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica over authoritarian governments because the political and economic stability that democratic governments offer. Latin American countries with democratic institutions, free market regulations and an educated, technological trained work force are better prepared to attract FDI. MNCs avoided countries with socialist-authoritarian regimes, such as Cuba and Venezuela, for fear of expropriations, lack of contract enforcement or protection to the investor. Latin American countries must be aware that raising their social and economic outcomes will help them to attract FDI inflows.


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