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Multinationals as Arbitrageurs: The Effect of Stock Market Valuations on Foreign Direct Investment

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  • Malcolm Baker
  • C. Fritz Foley
  • Jeffrey Wurgler

Abstract

Empirical evidence of imperfect integration across world capital markets suggests a role for cross-border arbitrage by multinationals. Consistent with multinational arbitrage as a determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns, we find that FDI flows increase sharply with source-country stock market valuations--particularly the component of valuations that is predicted to revert the next year, and particularly in the presence of capital account restrictions that limit other mechanisms of cross-country arbitrage. The results suggest the existence of a cheap financial capital channel in which FDI flows reflect, in part, the use of relatively low-cost capital available to overvalued parents in the source country. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Malcolm Baker & C. Fritz Foley & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2009. "Multinationals as Arbitrageurs: The Effect of Stock Market Valuations on Foreign Direct Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 337-369, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:1:p:337-369
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