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Risk, returns, and multinational production

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  • Jose Fillat
  • Stefania Garetto

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Fillat & Stefania Garetto, 2010. "Risk, returns, and multinational production," Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers QAU10-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbqu:qau10-5
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International business enterprises; Stock - Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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