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Foreign ownership, firm performance, and the geography of civic capital

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  • M. Burker
  • C. Franco
  • G. A. Minerva

Abstract

It is well established in the literature that foreign affiliates are subject to a series of governance and assimilation costs that deteriorate their performance. This is particularly relevant for firms which have been recently acquired by foreign investors. We employ the variation in civic capital across Italian provinces as an exogenous determinant of these governance costs. We derive the testable implication that there should be a clean evidence of a negative effect of foreign ownership on performance in areas where civic capital is low. As the level of local civic capital increases, this reduces the scope for internal transaction costs, and makes the governance of foreign affiliates easier, and their performance better. We take this prediction to the data and find confirmation of our conceptual framework. Our analysis underlines the importance of the geographic heterogeneity of informal institutions when analyzing the effect of foreign ownership on firm performance.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Burker & C. Franco & G. A. Minerva, 2011. "Foreign ownership, firm performance, and the geography of civic capital," Working Papers wp782, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp782
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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-2092, December.
    2. Anh‐Tuan Doan & Anh‐Tuan Le & Quan Tran, 2020. "Economic uncertainty, ownership structure and small and medium enterprises performance," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 102-137, June.
    3. Matthias Buerker & Gaetano Alfredo Minerva, 2013. "Civic Capital and the Vertical Integration of Service Provision: Evidence from Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1209, European Regional Science Association.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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