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Risk, returns, and multinational production

  • José L. Fillat
  • Stefania Garetto

This paper starts by unveiling a new empirical regularity: multinational corporations systematically tend to exhibit higher stock market returns and earnings yields than non-multinational firms. Within non-multinationals, exporters tend to exhibit higher earnings yields and returns than firms selling only in their domestic market. To explain this pattern, we develop a real option value model where firms are heterogeneous in productivity, and have to decide whether and how to sell in a foreign market where demand is risky. Firms can serve the foreign market through trade or foreign direct investment, thus becoming multinationals. Multinational firms are more exposed to risk: following a negative shock, they are reluctant to exit the foreign market because they would forgo the sunk cost that they paid to start investing abroad. We calibrate the model to match U.S. export and FDI dynamics, and use it to explain cross-sectional differences in earnings yields and returns.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper with number QAU10-5.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbqu:qau10-5
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  1. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  2. Alfonso A. Irarrazabal & Luca David Opromolla, 2008. "A Theory of Entry and Exit into Exports Markets," Working Papers w200820, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336, 02.
  5. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  7. Motohiro Yogo, 2006. "A Consumption-Based Explanation of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 539-580, 04.
  8. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2006. "Housing, Consumption, and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 12036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Leahy, John V, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-33, November.
  10. Ramondo, Natalia & Rappoport, Veronica, 2010. "The role of multinational production in a risky environment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 240-252, July.
  11. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, December.
  12. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144, 08.
  13. 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.
  14. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474, April.
  15. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Introduction to "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data"," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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