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Capital Markets, Ownership and Distance

  • Carlin, Wendy
  • Charlton, Andrew
  • Mayer, Colin

This paper uses a new data-set to examine how internal capital markets and foreign ownership affect investment. Our data allow us to compare investment behaviour of listed subsidiaries with stand-alone firms while controlling for investment opportunities of parent and subsidiary firms. We evaluate how the size of ownership and the geographical proximity of majority owners to their subsidiaries affect firm investment efficiency. We find that the investment of subsidiaries is more sensitive to investment opportunities than that of stand-alone firms and falls when investment opportunities of parent firms improve. This suggests that there are internal capital markets that reallocate funds towards units with better investment opportunities. We find that investment allocation is most efficient where parents have modest ownership stakes and are distant from their subsidiaries and when subsidiaries operate in well developed financial markets. These results indicate that influence costs imposed by dominant parents may outweigh their potential informational benefits, especially when subsidiaries are located in countries with weaker financial development.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5764.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5764
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Fredrik Sjoholm, 2003. "Foreign Owners and Plant Survival," NBER Working Papers 10039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 581-93, October.
  3. Claudia M. Buch, 2005. "Distance and International Banking," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 787-804, 09.
  4. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
  5. Matías Braun & Borja Larrain, 2005. "Finance and the Business Cycle: International, Inter-Industry Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1097-1128, 06.
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