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Troubled Banks, Impaired Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Relative Access to Credit

  • Michael Klein
  • Joe Peek
  • Eric Rosengren

The relative wealth hypothesis of Froot and Stein (1991), motivated by the aggregate correlation between real exchange rates and foreign direct investment (FDI) observed in the 1980s, cannot explain one of the major shifts in FDI in the 1990s: the continued decline in Japanese FDI during a period of stable stock prices and a rapidly appreciating yen. However, when the relative wealth hypothesis is supplemented with the relative access to credit hypothesis proposed in this study, we are able to show that unequal access to credit by Japanese firms can explain the FDI puzzle in the 1990s. We utilize a unique data set that links individual Japanese firms engaged in FDI to their main banks. Using both bank-level and firm-level data sets, we find that financial difficulties at banks were economically and statistically important in reducing the number of FDI projects by Japanese firms into the United States, even after controlling for the effects associated with the relative wealth movements driven by macroeconomic fluctuations in the exchange rate and stock market prices. This provides strong empirical evidence that differences across firms in the degree of their access to credit can be an important determinant of foreign direct investment.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7845.

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Date of creation: Aug 2000
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Publication status: published as Klein, Michael W., Joe Peek and Eric P. Rosengren. "Troubled Banks, Impaired Foreign Investment: The Role Of Relative Access To Credit," American Economic Review, 2002, v92(3,Jun), 664-682.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7845
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  1. Michael W. Klein & Eric S. Rosengren, 1992. "The real exchange rate and foreign direct investment in the United States: relative wealth vs. relative wage effects," Working Papers 92-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Slemrod, J., 1989. "Tax Effects Of Foreign Direct Investment In The U.S.: Evidence From A Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers 254, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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  8. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
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  10. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1991. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1996. "The international transmission of financial shocks: the case of Japan," Working Papers 96-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  17. Anil K. Kashyap & Owen A. Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Credit conditions and the cyclical behavior of inventories," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 93-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  18. Blonigen, Bruce A, 1997. "Firm-Specific Assets and the Link between Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 447-65, June.
  19. Caves, Richard E, 1971. "International Corporations: The Industrial Economics of Foreign Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(149), pages 1-27, February.
  20. Swenson, Deborah L., 1994. "The impact of U.S. tax reform on foreign direct investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 243-266, June.
  21. Linda Goldberg & Joseph Tracy, 2001. "Exchange Rates and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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