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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. Kesternich, Iris & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Who is afraid of political risk? Multinational firms and their choice of capital structure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 208-218, November.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Harrison, Ann E. & Love, Inessa & McMillan, Margaret S., 2002. "Global capital flows and financing constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2782, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
  11. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Marin, Dalia & Lorentowicz, Andzelika & Raubold, Alexander, 2002. "Ownership, Capital or Outsourcing: What Drives German Investment to Eastern Europe?," Discussion Papers in Economics 72, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Kesternich, Iris & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Who is afraid of political risk? Multinational firms and their choice of capital structure," Munich Reprints in Economics 19473, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Robert H. Gertner & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 4776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Martin Feldstein, 2000. "Aspects of Global Economic Intergration: Outlook for the Future," NBER Working Papers 7899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. 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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