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FDI versus cross-border financial services: The globalisation of German banks

  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • Lipponer, Alexander

The choice between foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports has been a recurrent theme in the literature on international trade, yet few studies have analysed this choice at the level of the individual firm. This paper uses a new dataset to study the FDI-versus-exports decision for banks. We use data on the foreign direct investment stocks and the cross-border provision of financial services of German banks for the period 1997-2000 to describe the regional pattern of banks' international activities. We find that country- and bank-specific variables capturing size have a major impact on banks' foreign activities. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the realisation of economies of scale and the provision of trade-related finance shape globalisation patterns. Greater cultural and geographical distance, by contrast, potentially limit the international expansion of banks. Our results also suggest that FDI and cross-border services are complements rather than substitutes.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2004,05.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:1818
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  1. Richard Portes & Helene Rey, 1999. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," NBER Working Papers 7336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Johnson, Denise, 1990. "The determinants of US banking activity abroad," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 123-137, June.
  3. Barth, James R. & Caprio Jr, Gerard & Levine, Ross, 2001. "The regulation and supervision of banks around the world - a new database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2588, The World Bank.
  4. Berger, Allen N. & Buch, Claudia M. & DeLong, Gayle & DeYoung, Robert, 2004. "Exporting financial institutions management via foreign direct investment mergers and acquisitions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 333-366, April.
  5. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," NBER Working Papers 7685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  7. Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "When is U.S. bank lending to emerging markets volatile?," Staff Reports 119, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," NBER Working Papers 9439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Degryse, H.A. & Ongena, S., 2003. "Distance, Lending Relationships, and Competition," Discussion Paper 2003-123, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Saunders, Anthony, 1981. "The determinants of foreign banking activity in the United States," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 17-32, March.
  11. Buch, Claudia M, 2003. " Information or Regulation: What Drives the International Activities of Commercial Banks?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 851-69, December.
  12. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin, 1999. "Two Waves of Globalisation: Superficial Similarities, Fundamental Differences," NBER Working Papers 6904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-21, May.
  14. Claudia M. Buch, 1999. "Why Do Banks Go Abroad? ; Evidence from German Data," Kiel Working Papers 948, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  15. Focarelli, Dario & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2001. "The patterns of cross-border bank mergers and shareholdings in OECD countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2305-2337, December.
  16. Yamori, Nobuyoshi, 1998. "A note on the location choice of multinational banks: The case of Japanese financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 109-120, January.
  17. Goldberg, Lawrence G. & Grosse, Robert, 1994. "Location choice of foreign banks in the United States," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 367-379, December.
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