Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Political Science and Economics, PhD interfield


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Feng Yi

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Graham Bird

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas Willett

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2022 Fengyuan Zhang

Subject Categories



This dissertation contributes to the discussion of the theoretical relationship between FDI and income inequality by arguing that the relationship depends on the political system. Focusing on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), this dissertation uses a fixed-effects model and a panel data set and finds that the positive correlation between FDI and income inequality measured in Gini Coefficient is magnified in countries with a high level of democracy of LAC during 1991-2017. Furthermore, in the following quintile income share analysis, it is found that the effects for the 5th quintile are opposite to the 3rd and the 4th quintiles, suggesting that the wealthiest 20% of the population in these countries benefited from FDI and the political system magnified this effect.