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Why are Foreign Firms Listed in the U.S. Worth More?

Dice Center Working Paper No. 2001-16

45 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2001  

Craig Doidge

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

George Andrew Karolyi

Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management

René M. Stulz

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

At the end of 1997, the foreign companies listed in the U.S. have a Tobin's q ratio that exceeds by 16.5% the q ratio of firms from the same country that are not listed in the U.S. The valuation difference is statistically significant and largest for exchange-listed firms, where it reaches 37%. The difference persists even after controlling for a number of firm and country characteristics. We propose a theory that explains this valuation difference. We hypothesize that controlling shareholders of firms listed in the U.S. cannot extract as many private benefits from control compared to controlling shareholders of firms not listed in the U.S., but that their firms are better able to take advantage of growth opportunities. Consequently, the cross-listed firms should be those firms where the interests of the controlling shareholder are better aligned with the interests of other shareholders. The growth opportunities of cross-listed firms will be more highly valued than those of firms not listed in the U.S. both because cross-listed firms are better able to take advantage of these opportunities and because a smaller fraction of the cash flow of these firms is expropriated by controlling shareholders. We find that our theory explains the greater valuation of cross-listed firms. In particular, we find expected sales growth is valued more highly for firms listed in the U.S. and that this effect is greater for firms from countries with poorer investor rights.

JEL Classification: G15, G30, G32

Suggested Citation

Doidge, Craig and Karolyi, George Andrew and Stulz, René M., Why are Foreign Firms Listed in the U.S. Worth More? (September 2001). Dice Center Working Paper No. 2001-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=285337 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.285337

Craig Doidge

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada
416-946-8598 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/FacultyAndResearch/Faculty/FacultyBios/Doidge

George Karolyi

Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Rene Stulz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/faculty/stulz

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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