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Excessive FDI flows under asymmetric information

  • Assaf Razin
  • Efraim Sadka
  • Chi-Wa Yuen

In Razin, Sadka and Yuen (1998, 1999a), we explored the policy implications of the home-bias in international portfolio investment as a result of asymmetric information problems in which domestic savers, being 'close' to the domestic market, have an informational advantage over foreign portfolio investors, who are 'far away' from the domestic market. However, FDI is different from foreign portfolio investment, concerning relevant information about domestic firms. Through the stationing of managers from the headquarters of multinational firms in the foreign direct establishments in the destination countries under their control, FDIors can monitor closely the operation of such establishments, thus circumventing these informational problems. Futhermore, FDI investors not only have an informational advantage over foreign portfolio investors, but they are also more informed than domestic savers. Because FDI entails direct control on the acquired domestic firm, which the typical domestic savers with ownership position in the firm do not have. Being 'insiders' the FDIers can 'overcharge' the uninformed domestic savers, the 'outsiders', when multinational subsidiaries shares are traded in the domestic stock market. Anticipating future domestic stock market trade opportunities, in advance, foreign investment becomes excessive. However, unlike the home-bias informational problem, which leads to inadequate foreign portfolio capital inflows, but may be correctable by Pigouvian taxes such as tax on non-resident income, tax on interest income and corporate tax (see Razin, Sadka, and Yuen (1998, 1999a)), excessive FDI flows under the insider-outsider informational problem call for a non-tax corrective policy. First, because they are governed by unobservable variables (such as the productivity level which triggers default, according to the firm contract with its lender). Second, because there exist self- fulfilling expectations equilibria which cannot be efficiently corrected by ta

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Volume (Year): (1999)
Issue (Month): Sep ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:1999:i:sep:x:8
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  1. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and factor movements : A welfare analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 263-276, May.
  3. Gordon, Roger H & Bovenberg, A Lans, 1996. "Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally? Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1057-75, December.
  4. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Chi-Wa Yuen, 1999. "An Information-Based Model of Foreign Direct Investment: The Gains from Trade Revisited," NBER Working Papers 6884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1994. "Risk-Taking, Global Diversification, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1310-29, December.
  6. Razin, A. & Sadka, E. & Yuen, C.W., 1997. "Implications of the Home Bias: A Pecking Order of Capital Inflows and Corrective Taxation," Papers 32-97, Tel Aviv.
  7. Bovenberg, A.L. & Gordon, R.H., 1996. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? Possible explanation and implications for capital income taxation," Other publications TiSEM 6a131c21-fd9a-4d83-8d9a-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  8. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Yuen, Chi-Wa, 1998. "A pecking order of capital inflows and international tax principles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 45-68, February.
  9. Eduardo Borensztein & Jose De Gregorio & Jong-Wha Lee, 1995. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  11. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  12. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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