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Corruption and valuation of multinational corporations

  • Pantzalis, Christos
  • Park, Jung Chul
  • Sutton, Ninon
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the relationship between U.S. MNCs' valuation and corruption in countries where the MNCs' foreign subsidiaries are located. We uncover that country-level corruption has a multi-dimensional impact on MNCs' valuation. We find that the impact of intangibles is less pronounced for MNCs operating primarily in corrupt countries, consistent with the view that the lack of property rights protection and information asymmetry problems are more prevalent in corrupt environments. We also find that the expansion of a MNC network dominated by corrupt countries negatively affects MNCs' valuation, suggesting that investors may recognize it as an additional risk. However, more importantly, we find that geographic diversification in corrupt countries significantly increases firm value if the MNC has high levels of intangibles such as technological know-how and marketing expertise. Assuming that transactions costs in corrupt countries are higher, our findings are consistent with the notion that the advantages from internalizing the cross-border transfer of intangibles are greater in the presence of corruption. Our findings remain unchanged when we account for endogeneity at the country-and firm-level, when we use alternative corruption measures, and when we re-estimate models by omitting MNCs with operations in locations with big "negative" shocks during the sample period. Moreover, we show that firms with expertise in dealing with corruption enjoy greater benefits from internalization.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Empirical Finance.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 387-417

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:387-417
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jempfin

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