Reciprocity and Public Opposition to Foreign Direct Investment

Adam S. Chilton, Helen V. Milner, Dustin Tingley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Prior international political economy public opinion research has primarily examined how economic and socio-cultural factors shape individuals' views on the flows of goods, people and capital. This research has largely ignored whether individuals also care about rewarding or punishing foreign countries for their policies on these issues. We tested this possibility by administering a series of conjoint and traditional survey experiments in the United States and China that examined how reciprocity influences opposition to foreign acquisitions of domestic companies. We find that reciprocity is an important determinant of public opinion on the regulation of foreign investments. This suggests the need to consider the policies that other countries adopt when trying to explain public attitudes toward global economic integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-153
Number of pages25
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


  • foreign direct investment
  • International political economy
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • public opinion
  • reciprocity
  • survey experiments


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