A Fire Sale without Fire: An Explanation of Labor-Intensive FDI in China
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management
City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - Department of Economics & Finance
University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics
Lingnan University - Department of Economics
August 1, 2008
MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4713-08
Using a large firm-level panel dataset from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, we examine the effect of financial distortions on FDI inflows in China's labor-intensive industries. Following Whited and Wu (2006), we estimate the investment Euler equation and construct a financing constraint index for each firm. We find that among domestic firms, the financing constraint index is highest for private firms and lowest for state-owned firms. This finding is consistent with the political pecking order hypothesis that states that there is a severe lending bias in China's financial system against private firms in favor of state-owned enterprises. Then we estimate a probit model of joint-venture decisions by private firms. We show that firms with greater financing constraints are more likely to be acquired and controlled by foreign firms. We interpret this evidence to be consistent with the fire-sale hypothesis that states that private firms relinquish their equity and control to foreign investors in order to raise financing for growth. We find that those firms in the top 25 percent of the most financing constraints could have avoided losing 31.5 percent of the equity share to foreigners had they faced the same favorable financing constraints as a typical firm in Zhejiang Province.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: FDI, China, Fire Sale
JEL Classification: F21, L14, O53working papers series
Date posted: September 8, 2008
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