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Firm Exports and Multinational Activity Under Credit Constraints


  • Kalina Manova
  • Shang-Jin Wei
  • Zhiwei Zhang


This paper provides firm-level evidence that credit constraints restrict international trade flows and affect the sectoral pattern of multinational activity. Using detailed customs data from China, we show that foreign affiliates and joint ventures have better export performance than private domestic firms in financially more vulnerable sectors. These results are stronger for destinations with higher trade costs and not driven by variation in firm size or by other sector determinants of FDI. Our findings are consistent with multinational subsidiaries being less liquidity constrained because they can tap additional funding from their parent company and/or access foreign capital markets. More broadly, they suggest that FDI can alleviate the impact of domestic financial market imperfections on aggregate growth, trade and private sector development.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalina Manova & Shang-Jin Wei & Zhiwei Zhang, 2011. "Firm Exports and Multinational Activity Under Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 16905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16905
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Héricourt, Jérôme & Poncet, Sandra, 2009. "FDI and credit constraints: Firm-level evidence from China," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-21, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill


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