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Are offshore firms worth more?

Author

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  • Durnev, Art
  • Li, TieMei
  • Magnan, Michel

Abstract

We examine how firms' reliance on Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs), either by registering or setting up subsidiaries in OFCs, affects their financial performance. Using multilevel mixed (fixed and random) effects regressions, we provide evidence that is consistent with the agency costs of tax avoidance. Information asymmetry and lax legal environments in OFCs offset tax benefits, especially for firms directly registered in OFCs. Firms directly registered in OFCs are valued 14% lower than onshore firms, while firms with subsidiaries in OFCs enjoy an 11% higher valuation than onshore firms. However, it appears that investors do not fully appreciate the extent of the agency costs due to increased information asymmetry of firms that set up subsidiaries in OFCs. We argue that the assessment of firm value must encompass the registration status of its subsidiaries rather than the parent company's origin.

Suggested Citation

  • Durnev, Art & Li, TieMei & Magnan, Michel, 2016. "Are offshore firms worth more?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 131-156.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:36:y:2016:i:c:p:131-156
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2015.11.002
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    Cited by:

    1. James O’Donovan & Hannes F. Wagner & Stefan Zeume, 2018. "The Value of Offshore Secrets: Evidence from the Panama Papers," Working Papers 634, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:2552-2562 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ge, Wenxia & Kim, Jeong-Bon & Li, Tiemei & Li, Yutao, 2016. "Offshore operations and bank loan contracting: Evidence from firms that set up subsidiaries in offshore financial centers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 335-355.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Offshore Financial Centers; Firm value; Information asymmetry; Agency costs;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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