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Who is afraid of political risk? Multinational firms and their choice of capital structure

Listed author(s):
  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Schnitzer, Monika

This paper investigates how multinational firms choose the capital structure of their foreign affiliates in response to political risk. We focus on two choice variables, the leverage and the ownership structure of the foreign affiliate, and we distinguish different types of political risk, such as expropriation, unreliable intellectual property rights and confiscatory taxation. In our theoretical analysis we find that, as political risk increases, the ownership share tends to decrease, whereas leverage can both increase or decrease, depending on the type of political risk. Using the Microdatabase Direct Investment of the Deutsche Bundesbank, we find supportive evidence for these different effects.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 82 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 208-218

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:82:y:2010:i:2:p:208-218
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  1. Eaton, Jonathan & Fernandez, Raquel, 1995. "Sovereign debt," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 2031-2077 Elsevier.
  2. Thomas, Jonathan P. & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Foreign direct investment and the risk of expropriation," Kiel Working Papers 411, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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  7. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Schnitzer, Monika, 2002. "Debt v. foreign direct investment: The impact of sovereign risk on the structure of international capital flows," Munich Reprints in Economics 19886, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2006. "Capital structure and international debt shifting," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 263, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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  11. Elizabeth Asiedu & Hadi Salehi Esfahani, 2001. "Ownership Structure In Foreign Direct Investment Projects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 647-662, November.
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  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521848053 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Short, Helen & Keasey, Kevin, 1999. "Managerial ownership and the performance of firms: Evidence from the UK," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 79-101, March.
  18. Desai, Mihir A. & Fritz Foley, C. & Hines Jr., James R., 2008. "Capital structure with risky foreign investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 534-553, June.
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