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Financial Constraints and the Margins of FDI

  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Lipponer, Alexander
  • Schnitzer, Monika

Recent literature on multinational firms has stressed the importance of low productivity as a barrier to the cross-border expansion of firms. But firms may also need external finance to shoulder the costs of entering foreign markets. We develop a model of multinational firms facing real and financial barriers to foreign direct investment (FDI), and we analyze their im-pact on the FDI decision (the extensive margin) and foreign affiliate sales (the intensive mar-gin). We provide empirical evidence based on a detailed dataset of German multinationals which contains information on parent-level and affiliate-level financial constraints as well as on the location the foreign affiliates. We find that financial factors constrain firms’ foreign investment decisions, an effect felt in particular by large firms. Financial constraints at the parent level matter for the extensive, but less so for the intensive margin. For the intensive margin, financial constraints at the affiliate level are relatively more important.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7444.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7444
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  1. Berman, Nicolas & Héricourt, Jérôme, 2010. "Financial factors and the margins of trade: Evidence from cross-country firm-level data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 206-217, November.
  2. Ann E. Harrison & Inessa Love & Margaret S. McMillan, 2002. "Global Capital Flows and Financing Constraints," NBER Working Papers 8887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  4. Stein, Jeremy C., 2003. "Agency, information and corporate investment," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 111-165 Elsevier.
  5. Brusco, Sandro & Panunzi, Fausto, 2005. "Reallocation of corporate resources and managerial incentives in internal capital markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 659-681, April.
  6. Russ, Katheryn Niles, 2007. "The endogeneity of the exchange rate as a determinant of FDI: A model of entry and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 344-372, April.
  7. Buch, Claudia M. & Kesternich, Iris & Lipponer, Alexander & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Exports Versus FDI Revisited: Does Finance Matter?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 340, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Chaney, 2013. "Liquidity Constrained Exporters," NBER Working Papers 19170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, 02.
  11. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
  13. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Bayraktar, Nihal & Sakellaris, Plutarchos & Vermeulen, Philip, 2005. "Real versus financial frictions to capital investment," Working Paper Series 0566, European Central Bank.
  15. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  16. Russ, Katheryn, 2004. "The Endogeneity of the Exchange Rate as a Determinant of FDI: A Model of Money, Entry, and Multinational Firms," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9xr4f238, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  17. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
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