06.07.2015 • 27/2015
Rejection of Reforms as a Chance for Reforms
The President of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association continues to see a chance for an agreement between the European Union (EU) and Greece. On the surface, Grexit looks now more likely than ever. But the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, Minister of Finance, and the outcome of the referendum may also provide a chance for the Greek government to agree on reforms and save face. But the window of opportunity is closing very fast.
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Corporate Governance Structures and Financial Constraints in Multinational Enterprises – An Analysis in Selected European Transition Economies on the Basis of the IWH FDI Micro Database 2013 –
IWH Discussion Papers,
In our analysis, we consider the distribution of decision power over financing and investment between MNEs’ headquarters and foreign subsidiaries and its influence on the foreign affiliates’ financial restrictions. Our research results show that headquarters of multinational enterprises have not (yet) moved much decision power to their foreign subsidiaries at all. We use data from the IWH FDI Micro Database which contains information on corporate governance structures and financial restrictions of 609 enterprises with a foreign investor in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and East Germany. We match data from Bureau van Dijk’s AMADEUS database on financial characteristics. We find that a high concentration of decision power within the MNE’s headquarter implicates high financial restrictions within the subsidiary. Square term results show, however, that the effect of financial constraints within the subsidiary decreases and finally turns insignificant when decision power moves from headquarter to subsidiary. Thus, economic policy should encourage foreign investors in the case of foreign acquisition of local enterprises to leave decision power within the enterprise and in the case of Greenfield investment to provide the newly established subsidiaries with as much power over corporate governance structures as possible.
Corporate Governance in the Multinational Enterprise: A Financial Contracting Perspective
International Business Review,
The aim of this paper is to bring economics-based finance research more into the focus of international business theory. On the basis of an analytical model that introduces financial constraints into incomplete contracting in an international vertical trade relationship, we propose an integrated framework that facilitates the study of the interdependencies between internalisation decisions, firm-internal allocations of control rights, and the debt capacity of firms. We argue that the financial constraint of an MNE and/or its supplier should be considered as an important determinant of internal governance structures, complementary to, and interacting with, institutional factors and proprietary knowledge.
Organization and Financing of Innovation, and the Choice between Corporate and Independent Venture Capital
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,
This paper examines the impact of competition on the optimal organization and financing structures in innovation-intensive industries. We show that as an optimal response to competition, firms may choose external organization structures established in collaboration with specialized start-ups where they provide start-up financing from their own resources. As the intensity of the competition to innovate increases, firms move from internal to external organization of projects to increase the speed of product innovation and to obtain a competitive advantage with respect to rival firms in their industry. We also show that as the level of competition increases, firms provide a higher level of financing for externally organized projects in the form of corporate venture capital (CVC). Our results help explain the emergence of organization and financing arrangements such as CVC and strategic alliances, where large established firms organize their projects in collaboration with external specialized firms and provide financing for externally organized projects from their own internal resources.
Bank Lending, Bank Capital Regulation and Efficiency of Corporate Foreign Investment
IWH Discussion Papers,
In this paper we study interdependencies between corporate foreign investment and the capital structure of banks. By committing to invest predominantly at home, firms can reduce the credit default risk of their lending banks. Therefore, banks can refinance loans to a larger extent through deposits thereby reducing firms’ effective financing costs. Firms thus have an incentive to allocate resources inefficiently as they then save on financing costs. We argue that imposing minimum capital adequacy for banks can eliminate this incentive by putting a lower bound on financing costs. However, the Basel II framework is shown to miss this potential.
Investment and Internal Finance: Asymmetric Information or Managerial Discretion?
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This paper examines the investment-cash flow sensitivity of publicly listed firms in The Netherlands. Investment-cash flow sensitivities can be attributed to overinvestment resulting from the abuse of managerial discretion, but also to underinvestment due to information problems. The Dutch corporate governance structure presents a number of distinctive features, in particular the limited influence of shareholders, the presence of large blockholders, and the importance of bank ties. We expect that in The Netherlands, the managerial discretion problem is more important than the asymmetric information problem. We use Tobin's Q to discriminate between firms with these problems, where LOW Q firms face the managerial discretion problem and HIGH Q firms the asymmetric information problem. As hypothesized, we find substantially larger investment-cash flow sensitivity for LOW Q firms. Moreover, specifically in the LOW Q sample, we find that firms with higher (bank) debt have lower investment-cash flow sensitivity. This finding shows that leverage, and particularly bank debt, is a key disciplinary mechanism which reduces the managerial discretion problem.
Monetary Policy and Bank Lending in Japan: An Agency-based Approach
Incentives and Economic Behaviour,
This paper studies the incentive effects on Japanese banks of a low interest rate policy by the Bank of Japan. It utilizes a simplified version of an overlapping principal-agent-style model of corporate finance originally developed in Dietrich (2003). This model is dedicated to study the monetary policy transmission mechanism by combining arguments of the broad credit channel and the bank lending channel taking into account that banks need to be provided with incentives to monitor entrepreneurs. We argue that stipulating banks to possess some amount of own capital generate these incentives. We denote this capital requirement to be market based and show that this requirement depends crucially on interest rates. After revealing some shortcomings of the credit crunch hypothesis, we apply this approach to the Japanese economy. As a result, a policy of very low interest rates may not only be inefficient but counterproductive to reactivate a stumbled economy via the usual credit channel.
Local Taxes and Capital Structure Choice
International Tax and Public Finance,
This paper investigates the question of taxation and capital structure choice in Germany. Germany represents an excellent case study for investigating the question of whether and to what extent taxes influence the debt-equity decision of firms, because the relative tax burdens on debt and equity vary greatly across communities. German communities levy local taxes on profits and long-term debt payments in addition to personal and corporate taxes on the federal level. A stylized model is presented incorporating these taxes. The model shows that local taxes create substantial incentives for firms to use debt financing. Furthermore, the paper empirically investigates the effect of local business taxes on the share of debt used to finance incremental investments by German firms. I find that local taxes significantly influence the capital structure choice of firms, controlling for a large number of other factors. In an extensive sensitivity analysis the tax effect are found to be robust across several different specifications.
The Effect of Expected Effective Corporate Tax Rates on Incremental Financing Decisions
IMF Staff Papers,
This paper uses U.S. panel data to estimate the effect of expected effective corporate tax rates on the amount of debt issued by firms. The paper directly estimates expected corporate tax rates using rational expectations. The estimated measures of expected effective tax rates of firms are related to a continuous measure of incremental debt financing. The paper finds that expected effective tax rates are significantly and positively related to a higher level of debt financing. Simulations suggest that debt issues would double if firms were unable to shield profits and actually faced the statutory tax rate.