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Financial constraints and the margins of FDI

  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Lipponer, Alexander
  • Schnitzer, Monika

Recent literature on multinational firms has stressed the importance of low productivity as a barrier to the cross-border expansion of firms. But firms may also need external finance to shoulder the costs of entering foreign markets. We develop a model of multinational firms facing real and financial barriers to foreign direct investment (FDI), and we analyze their impact on the FDI decision (the extensive margin) and foreign affiliate sales (the intensive margin). We provide empirical evidence based on a detailed dataset of German multinationals which contains information on parent-level and affiliate-level financial constraints as well as about the location the foreign affiliates. We find that financial factors constrain firms’ foreign investment decisions, an effect felt in particular by large firms. Financial constraints at the parent level matter for the extensive, but less so for the intensive margin. For the intensive margin, financial constraints at the affiliate level are relatively more important.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2009,29.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:200929
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  1. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
  2. Russ, Katheryn, 2004. "The Endogeneity of the Exchange Rate as a Determinant of FDI: A Model of Money, Entry, and Multinational Firms," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9xr4f238, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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  5. Buch, Claudia M. & Kesternich, Iris & Lipponer, Alexander & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Exports Versus FDI Revisited: Does Finance Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  7. Sandro Brusco & Fausto Panunzi, 2002. "Reallocation of Corporate Resources and Managerial Incentives in Internal Capital Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 735, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Thomas Chaney, 2007. "Liquidity Constrained Exporters," 2007 Meeting Papers 979, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  10. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Nicolas Berman & Jérôme Héricourt, 2008. "Financial factors and the margins of trade : evidence from cross-country firm-level data," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne bla08050, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  12. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  13. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
  14. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, 02.
  15. Russ, Katheryn Niles, 2007. "The endogeneity of the exchange rate as a determinant of FDI: A model of entry and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 344-372, April.
  16. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  17. Bayraktar, Nihal & Sakellaris, Plutarchos & Vermeulen, Philip, 2005. "Real versus financial frictions to capital investment," Working Paper Series 0566, European Central Bank.
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