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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. Brusco, Sandro & Panunzi, Fausto, 2005. "Reallocation of corporate resources and managerial incentives in internal capital markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 659-681, April.
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  6. 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.
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  11. Thomas Chaney, 2013. "Liquidity Constrained Exporters," NBER Working Papers 19170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Agency, Information and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 8342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  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. 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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