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Acquired versus Non-Acquired Subsidiaries - Which Entry Mode do Parent Firms Prefer

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Abstract

Despite the economic importance of international foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, investment decisions of multinational firms are not well understood. A multinational firm can establish a subsidiary in a foreign country through greenfield investment or through acquiring an existing firm in the target country. The goal of this paper is to shed some light on the determinants of foreign market entry modes. In particular to analyze the systematic variation in the mode choice of FDI, namely acquisition versus non-acquisition (greenfield) investments. We propose a transparent and general applicable method to construct a data base. This database includes information about parent firms and their majority owned affiliates in foreign countries. A particular feature is the construction of a variable which allows to differentiate the establishment mode of parent firms into foreign markets. For this purpose two databases from the Bureau van Dijk are interlinked: Osiris and Zephyr. We provide evidence that firm heterogeneity is important for U.S. multinational firms in determining their entry mode choice. However, this is not a distinguishing feature for European multinational firms. For both sets of parent firms the host country characteristics play an important role in deciding on the entry mode. Higher institutional quality increases the likelihood of acquisitions versus greenfield investments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2010-22.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_22

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Keywords: Acquisition; Greenfield; Subsidiaries; Mode Choice; FDI; Institutions;

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  1. Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2009. "Why Do Firms Own Production Chains?," Working Papers 09-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  3. Desai, Mihir & Antras, Pol & Foley, C. Fritz, 2009. "Multinational Firms, FDI Flows and Imperfect Capital Markets," Scholarly Articles 3199065, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Desislava Dikova & Arjen van Witteloostuijn, 2007. "Foreign direct investment mode choice: entry and establishment modes in transition economies," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(6), pages 1013-1033, November.
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  6. Joel Stiebale, 2010. "The Impact of Foreign Acquisitions on the Investors‘ R&D Activities – Firm-level Evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 0161, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  7. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2009. "The Olympic effect," Working Paper Series 2009-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  9. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:2:p:529-557 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Larimo, Jorma, 2003. "Form of investment by Nordic firms in world markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(10), pages 791-803, October.
  11. Nocke, Volker & Yeaple, Stephen, 2007. "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions vs. greenfield foreign direct investment: The role of firm heterogeneity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 336-365, July.
  12. Rose, Andrew K, 2003. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and the structure of U.S. multinational activity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 206-215, July.
  14. Bertrand, Olivier & Hakkala, Katariina & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan, 2007. "Cross-Border Acquisition or Greenfield Entry: Does it Matter for Affiliate R&D?," Working Paper Series 693, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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