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Political Relationships, Global Financing and Corporate Transparency

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  • Christian Leuz
  • Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Abstract

This study examines the financing choices of firms operating in a weak institutional environment. We argue that in relationship-based systems, global financing and strong political connections are alternative means to create firm value. Well-connected firms might be less inclined to access global capital markets because (state-owned) domestic banks provide capital at low cost. Moreover, the expanded disclosures and additional scrutiny that come with issuing foreign securities might be at odds with close political ties at home because these ties can best be exploited when little is disclosed about the firm. Using data from Indonesia, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that global financing and political connections are substitutes: Firms with close political ties to former President Soeharto are significantly less likely than nonconnected firms to have publicly traded foreign securities. To study performance effects, we examine how returns during the Asian financial crisis differ between firms with and without foreign securities. Consistent with prior work, we find that firms with foreign securities exhibit higher returns during the crisis. However, our data indicate that politically well-connected firms also received considerable support during this period. These results suggest that previous estimates of cross-listing benefits are considerably biased if domestic opportunities such as political connections are ignored.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 03-16.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:03-16

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  1. Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
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  3. Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2001. "Cronyism and Capital Controls: Evidence from Malaysia," NBER Working Papers 8521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Reese, William Jr. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2002. "Protection of minority shareholder interests, cross-listings in the United States, and subsequent equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 65-104, October.
  5. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lumsdaine, Robin L., 2002. "Dating the integration of world equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 203-247, August.
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  9. Blass, Asher & Yafeh, Yishay, 2001. "Vagabond shoes longing to stray: Why foreign firms list in the United States," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 555-572, March.
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  13. Fan, Joseph P.H. & Wong, T.J., 2001. "Corporate Ownership Structure and the Informativeness of Accounting Earnings in East Asia," CEI Working Paper Series 2001-21, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  14. Stulz, Rene M, 1981. "On the Effects of Barriers to International Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 923-34, September.
  15. Mitton, Todd, 2002. "A cross-firm analysis of the impact of corporate governance on the East Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 215-241, May.
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  17. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Rene M. Stulz & Craig Doidge & Andrew Karolyi, 2004. "Why Do Countries Matter So Much for Corporate Governance?," NBER Working Papers 10726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Karl V. Lins & Francis E. Warnock, 2004. "Corporate governance and the shareholder base," International Finance Discussion Papers 816, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Francis, Bill B. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Sun, Xian, 2009. "Political connections and the process of going public: Evidence from China," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 696-719, June.
  4. Bunkanwanicha, Pramuan & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2006. "Big Business Owners and Politics: Investigating the Economic Incentives of Holding Top Office," CEI Working Paper Series 2006-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Quoc-Anh Do & Bang Dang Nguyen & Yen-Teik Lee & Kieu-Trang Nguyen, 2011. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind:The Value of Political Connections in Social Networks," Working Papers 19-2011, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  6. Allayannis, George & Brown, Gregory W. & Klapper, Leora F., 2005. "Legal effectiveness and external capital : the role of foreign debt," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3530, The World Bank.
  7. Art Durnev & Sergei Guriev, 2007. "The Resource Curse: A Corporate Transparency Channel," Working Papers w0108, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  8. Chung, Chi-Nien & Mahmood, Ishtiaq & Mitchell, Will, 2009. "Political Connections and Business Strategy: The Impact of Types and Destinations of Political Ties on Business Diversification in Closed and Open Political Economic," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-24, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Stulze, Rene M., 2008. "Securities Laws, Disclosure, and National Capital Markets in the Age of Financial Globalization," Working Paper Series 2008-13, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.

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