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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Müller, Thomas & Schnitzer, Monika, 2003. "Technology Transfer and Spillovers in International Joint Ventures," CEPR Discussion Papers 4099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2003. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 9715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Eaton, J. & Fernandez, R., 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Papers 37, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Desai, Mihir A. & Fritz Foley, C. & Hines Jr., James R., 2008. "Capital structure with risky foreign investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 534-553, June.
  9. Kobrin, Stephen J., 1980. "Foreign enterprise and forced divestment in LDCs," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 65-88, December.
  10. Buettner, Thiess & Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich & Wamser, Georg, 2009. "Taxation and capital structure choice--Evidence from a panel of German multinationals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 309-311, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Konrad, Kai A. & Erik Lommerud, Kjell, 2001. "Foreign direct investment, intra-firm trade and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 475-494, March.
  13. Thomas, J.P. & Worrall, T., 1991. "Foreign direct investment and the risk of expropriation," Discussion Paper 1991-26, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Schnitzer, Monika, 1999. "Expropriation and control rights: A dynamic model of foreign direct investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1113-1137, November.
  15. 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.
  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. Luc Laeven & Harry Huizinga & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2007. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," IMF Working Papers 07/39, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Monika Schnitzer, 1996. "Expropriation and Control Rights: A Dynamic Model of," Discussion Paper Serie A 515, University of Bonn, Germany.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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