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Capital structure with risky foreign investment

Author

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  • Desai, Mihir A.
  • Fritz Foley, C.
  • Hines Jr., James R.

Abstract

Firms facing significant business risks have incentives to mitigate the costs of these risks by adjusting their capital structures. This paper investigates this link by analyzing the exposures of multinational firms to political risk. The evidence indicates that returns on investment in politically risky countries are more volatile than returns elsewhere. Multinational firms reduce their leverage in response to these political risks: a one standard deviation increase in foreign political risk is associated with 3.5% reduced leverage. The effect of foreign political risks on leverage is most pronounced for firms in industries whose returns are most susceptible to political influence.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:88:y:2008:i:3:p:534-553
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    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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