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Capital Structure with Risky Foreign Investment

Author

Listed:
  • Mihir A. Desai
  • C. Fritz Foley
  • James R. Hines Jr.

Abstract

American multinational firms respond to politically risky environments by adjusting their capital structures abroad and at home. Foreign subsidiaries located in politically risky countries have significantly more debt than do other foreign affiliates of the same parent companies. American firms further limit their equity exposures in politically risky countries by sharing ownership with local partners and by serving foreign markets with exports rather than local production. The residual political risk borne by parent companies leads them to use less domestic leverage, resulting in lower firm-wide leverage. Multinational firms with above-average exposures to politically risky countries have 8.4 percent less domestic leverage than do other firms. These findings illustrate the impact of risk exposures on capital structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2006. "Capital Structure with Risky Foreign Investment," NBER Working Papers 12276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12276
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    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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