Form of Ownership and Financial Constraints: Panel Data Evidence from Leverage and Investment Equations
This paper analyzes the effects of the form of ownership on the substitutability between internal and external sources of finance. In particular, we test whether financial constraints are more severe for independent firms and whether there are differences between members of large national business groups and subsidiaries of foreign multinational corporations. The results obtained from leverage and investment equations estimated for a panel of Italian companies imply that independent firms face more severe financial constraints. Moreover, such constraints are greater when cash flow decreases. Members of national groups and subsidiaries of multinational corporations are less sensitive to cash flow in their investment decisions. Leverage equations suggest, however, that there are interesting differences between the two latter categories of firms. In particular, agency costs arising from the conflict between managers and shareholders are more important for subsidiaries of multinational corporations.
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