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When is FDI a capital flow?

  • Marin, Dalia
  • Schnitzer, Monika

In this paper we analyze the conditions under which a foreign direct investment (FDI) involves a net capital flow across countries. For this purpose, we investigate how multinational firms finance their foreign affiliates, globally or locally. We develop a contract theoretical model in which the financing structure is used to govern the incentives of managers. We find that the investment tends to be financed locally if managerial incentive problems are large. Thus, microeconomic governance problems may have macroeconomic implications for the net capital flow to host countries. Our results are consistent with survey data on German and Austrian investment flows of firms to Eastern Europe.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19257.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Economic Review 6 55(2011): pp. 845-861
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19257
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  1. Pol Antràs & Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley, 2009. "Multinational Firms, FDI Flows, and Imperfect Capital Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1171-1219, August.
  2. Benjamin Hermalin & Andrew K. Rose & Peter M. Garber & Andrew Crockett & David W. Mullins, Jr, 1999. "Risks to Lenders and Borrowers in International Capital Markets," NBER Chapters, in: International Capital Flows, pages 363-420 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gertner, Robert H & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1211-30, November.
  4. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment: An Imperfect Capital Markets Approach," NBER Working Papers 2914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  6. Harrison, Ann E. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2003. "Does direct foreign investment affect domestic credit constraints?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-100, October.
  7. Lorentowicz, Andzelika & Marin, Dalia & Raubold, Alexander, 2002. "Ownership, Capital or Outsourcing: What Drives German Investment to Eastern Europe?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3515, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2003. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 9715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "Tying Trade Flows: A Theory of Countertrade with Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1047-64, December.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  11. Chowdhry, Bhagwan & Nanda, Vikram, 1994. "Financing of multinational subsidiaries: Parent debt vs. external debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 259-281, August.
  12. Kesternich, Iris & Schnitzer, Monika, 2007. "Who is Afraid of Political Risk? Multinational Firms and their Choice of Capital Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 6468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Harrison, Ann E. & Love, Inessa & McMillan, Margaret S., 2002. "Global capital flows and financing constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2782, The World Bank.
  14. Michel A. Habib & D. Bruce Johnsen, 1999. "The Financing and Redeployment of Specific Assets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 693-720, 04.
  15. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "'A Nation of Poets and Thinkers' - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," Discussion Papers in Economics 329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Albuquerque, Rui & Loayza, Norman & Serven, Luis, 2005. "World market integration through the lens of foreign direct investors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 267-295, July.
  17. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  18. Chowdhry, Bhagwan & Coval, Joshua D., 1998. "Internal financing of multinational subsidiaries: Debt vs. equity1," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 87-106, March.
  19. Leo Ferraris & Raoul Minetti, 2007. "Foreign Lenders and the Real Sector," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 945-964, 06.
  20. Martin Feldstein, 2000. "Aspects of Global Economic Intergration: Outlook for the Future," NBER Working Papers 7899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Dalia Marin & Monika Schnitzer, 2002. "Contracts in Trade and Transition: The Resurgence of Barter," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262133997, June.
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