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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. 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.
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  9. Buch, Claudia M. & Kesternich, Iris & Lipponer, Alexander & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Exports Versus FDI Revisited: Does Finance Matter?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 340, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  10. 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.
  11. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  15. 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.
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