Capital Structure with Risky Foreign Investment
33 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2006 Last revised: 19 Jul 2010
Date Written: June 2006
American multinational firms respond to politically risky environments by adjusting their capital structures abroad and at home. Foreign subsidiaries located in politically risky countries have significantly more debt than do other foreign affiliates of the same parent companies. American firms further limit their equity exposures in politically risky countries by sharing ownership with local partners and by serving foreign markets with exports rather than local production. The residual political risk borne by parent companies leads them to use less domestic leverage, resulting in lower firm-wide leverage. Multinational firms with above-average exposures to politically risky countries have 8.4 percent less domestic leverage than do other firms. These findings illustrate the impact of risk exposures on capital structure.
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