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Who is Afraid of Political Risk? Multinational Firms and their Choice of Capital Structure

  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Schnitzer, Monika

This paper investigates how multinational firms choose their capital structure in response to political risk. We focus on two choice variables, the leverage and the ownership structure of the foreign affiliate, and we distinguish different types of political risk, like expropriation, corruption and confiscatory taxation, and In our theoretical analysis we find that as political risk increases the ownership share always decreases whereas leverage can both increase or decrease, depending on the type of political risk. Using the Microdatabase Direct Investment of the Deutsche Bundesbank, we find supportive evidence for these different effects.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 213.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:213
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  1. Schnitzer, Monika, 1998. "Expropriation and Control Rights: A Dynamic Model of Foreign Direct Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Müller, Thomas & Schnitzer, Monika, 2005. "Technology Transfer and Spillovers in International Joint Ventures," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 84, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Thomas, J.P. & Worrall, T., 1991. "Foreign direct investment and the risk of expropriation," Discussion Paper 1991-26, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Konrad, K.A. & Lommerud, K.E., 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment, Intra-firm Trade and Ownership Structure," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 219, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  5. Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2007. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," Working Papers CEB 07-015.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
  7. Büttner, Thiess & Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "Taxation and capital structure choice: evidence from a panel of German multinationals," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-67, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Eaton, Jonathan & Fernandez, Raquel, 1995. "Sovereign debt," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 2031-2077 Elsevier.
  9. Short, Helen & Keasey, Kevin, 1999. "Managerial ownership and the performance of firms: Evidence from the UK," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 79-101, March.
  10. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2003. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 9715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
  12. Desai, Mihir A. & Fritz Foley, C. & Hines Jr., James R., 2008. "Capital structure with risky foreign investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 534-553, June.
  13. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  14. Schnitzer, Monika, 2002. "Debt v. Foreign Direct Investment: The Impact of Sovereign Risk on the Structure of International Capital Flows," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(273), pages 41-67, February.
  15. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1984. "A Theory of Expropriation and Deviations from Perfect Capital Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 16-40, March.
  16. Kobrin, Stephen J., 1980. "Foreign enterprise and forced divestment in LDCs," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 65-88, December.
  17. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
  18. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  20. Elizabeth Asiedu & Hadi Salehi Esfahani, 2001. "Ownership Structure In Foreign Direct Investment Projects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 647-662, November.
  21. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
  22. Beata S. Javorcik & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Corruption and Cross-Border Investment in Emerging Markets: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers 062009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  23. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
  24. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  25. Monika Schnitzer, 1996. "Expropriation and Control Rights: A Dynamic Model of," Discussion Paper Serie A 515, University of Bonn, Germany.
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