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Multinational Ownership and Subsidiary Investment


  • Wendy Carlin
  • Andrew Charlton
  • Colin Mayer


This paper examines how foreign ownership affects the investment decisions of subsidiary firms using a new dataset of listed-parent − listed-subsidiary pairs. We find that improvements in the investment opportunities of parent firms have a negative effect on the investment of their subsidiaries, after controlling for the investment opportunities of the subsidiary, which can be independently observed. This provides evidence of internal capital markets in multinationals that reallocate funds towards units with better investment opportunities. We also find that the negative effect of the parent’s investment opportunities on subsidiary investment is greatest where the relationship is more arms-length, i.e. where parents have modest ownership stakes, are distant from their subsidiaries or when subsidiaries – as well as parents – operate in well developed financial markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy Carlin & Andrew Charlton & Colin Mayer, 2008. "Multinational Ownership and Subsidiary Investment," OFRC Working Papers Series 2008fe05, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:sbs:wpsefe:2008fe05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    2. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
    4. Oren Bar-Gill & Michal Barzuza & Lucian Bebchuk, 2006. "The Market for Corporate Law," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(1), pages 134-160, March.
    5. Daines, Robert, 2001. "Does Delaware law improve firm value?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 525-558, December.
    6. Roberta Romano, 1998. "Empowering Investors: A Market Approach to Securities Regulation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm74, Yale School of Management.
    7. Romano, Roberta, 1985. "Law as a Product: Some Pieces of the Incorporation Puzzle," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 225-283, Fall.
    8. Kahan, Marcel & Kamar, Ehud, 2002. "The Myth of State Competition in Corporate Law," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3xq7p9xw, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    9. Guhan Subramanian, 2004. "The Disappearing Delaware Effect," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 32-59, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mamatzakis, Emmanuel & Bermpei, Theodora, 2014. "What drives investment bank performance? The role of risk, liquidity and fees prior to and during the crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 102-117.
    2. BEUSELINCK, Christof & DELOOF, Marc & VANSTRAELEN, Ann, 2011. "Corporate governance and cash policies of multinational corporations," Working Papers 2011020, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.

    More about this item


    Investment; Internal Capital Markets; Foreign Ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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