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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 the capital structure of their foreign affiliates 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, such as expropriation, unreliable intellectual property rights and confiscatory taxation. In our theoretical analysis we find that, as political risk increases, the ownership share tends to decrease, 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 Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2009,02.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:7571
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  1. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108, January.
  2. Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2006. "Capital structure and international debt shifting," European Economy - Economic Papers 263, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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  6. 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.
  7. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2006. "Capital Structure with Risky Foreign Investment," NBER Working Papers 12276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Monika Schnitzer, 1996. "Expropriation and Control Rights: A Dynamic Model of," Discussion Paper Serie A 515, University of Bonn, Germany.
  9. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 5131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Schnitzer, Monika, 1999. "Expropriation and control rights: A dynamic model of foreign direct investment," Munich Reprints in Economics 19890, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Müller, Thomas & Schnitzer, Monika, 2006. "Technology transfer and spillovers in international joint ventures," Munich Reprints in Economics 19198, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Schnitzer, Monika, 2002. "Debt v. foreign direct investment: The impact of sovereign risk on the structure of international capital flows," Munich Reprints in Economics 19886, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Kobrin, Stephen J., 1980. "Foreign enterprise and forced divestment in LDCs," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 65-88, December.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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