Antràs, Pol, Mihir Desai, and Fritz C Foley. 2009. Multinational Firms, FDI Flows and Imperfect Capital Markets. Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, no. 3: 1171-1219.
Abstract:This paper examines how costly ﬁnancial contracting and weak investor protection inﬂuence the cross-border operational, ﬁnancing, and investment decisions of ﬁrms. We develop a model in which product developers can play a useful role in monitoring the deployment of their technology abroad. The analysis demonstrates that when ﬁrms want to exploit technologies abroad, multinational ﬁrm (MNC) activity and foreign direct investment (FDI) ﬂows arise endogenously when monitoring is nonveriﬁable and ﬁnancial frictions exist. The mechanism generating MNC activity is not the risk of technological expropriation by local partners but the demands of external funders who require MNC participation to ensure value maximization by local entrepreneurs. The model demonstrates that weak investor protections limit the scale of MNC activity, increase the reliance on FDI ﬂows, and alter the decision to deploy technology through FDI as opposed to arm’s length technology transfers. Several distinctive predictions for the impact of weak investor protection on MNC activity and FDI ﬂows are tested and conﬁrmed using ﬁrm-level data.
Notes:Published versions have been posted with the written permission of the journals where they appeared. Standard copyright rules apply. Please download and print for personal use only. Mihir Desai's website. C. Fritz Foley's website