Excessive FDI Flows Under Asymmetric Information

34 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2000 Last revised: 14 Oct 2010

See all articles by Assaf Razin

Assaf Razin

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Efraim Sadka

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Chi-Wa Yuen

The University of Hong Kong - School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: October 1999

Abstract

In Razin, Sadka and Yuen (1998, 1999a), we explored the policy implications of the home-bias in international portfolio investment as a result of asymmetric information problems in which domestic savers, being 'close' to the domestic market, have an informational advantage over foreign portfolio investors, who are 'far away' from the domestic market. However, FDI is different from foreign portfolio investment, concerning relevant information about domestic firms. Through the stationing of managers from the headquarters of multinational firms in the foreign direct establishments in the destination countries under their control, FDIors can monitor closely the operation of such establishments, thus circumventing these informational problems. Futhermore, FDI investors not only have an informational advantage over foreign portfolio investors, but they are also more informed than domestic savers. Because FDI entails direct control on the acquired domestic firm, which the typical domestic savers with ownership position in the firm do not have. Being 'insiders' the FDIers can 'overcharge' the uninformed domestic savers, the 'outsiders', when multinational subsidiaries shares are traded in the domestic stock market. Anticipating future domestic stock market trade opportunities, in advance, foreign investment becomes excessive. However, unlike the home-bias informational problem, which leads to inadequate foreign portfolio capital inflows, but may be correctable by Pigouvian taxes such as tax on non-resident income, tax on interest income and corporate tax (see Razin, Sadka, and Yuen (1998, 1999a)), excessive FDI flows under the insider-outsider informational problem call for a non-tax corrective policy. First, because they are governed by unobservable variables (such as the productivity level which triggers default, according to the firm contract with its lender). Second, because there exist self- fulfilling expectations equilibria which cannot be efficiently corrected by taxation. The corrective policy tool that is left available is then simply quantity restrictions on FDI.

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf and Sadka, Efraim and Yuen, Chi-Wa, Excessive FDI Flows Under Asymmetric Information (October 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7400. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=193768

Assaf Razin (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 7303 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Efraim Sadka

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9712 (Phone)
+972 3 642 8074 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Chi-Wa Yuen

The University of Hong Kong - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

8th Floor Kennedy Town Centre
23 Belcher's Street
Kennedy Town
Hong Kong
+8 52 2859 1051 (Phone)
+8 52 7548 1152 (Fax)

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