A simple model of corporate international investment under incomplete information and taxes

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This paper extends the theory of corporate international investment in Choi (J. Int. Bus. Stud. 20: 145–155, 1989) in an environment where the segmentation of international capital markets for investors or the presence of agency costs provide some independence to corporate decisions. The model shows that the real exchange risk, the competition between firms in different markets and diversification gains affect corporate international investment.

By accounting for the role of information as defined in the models of Merton (J. Finance 42: 483–510, 1987), Bellalah (Int. J. Finance Econ. 6: 59–67, 2001a) and Bellalah and Wu (Int. J. Theor. Appl. Finance 5(5): 479–495, 2002), the model embodies different existing explanations based on economic and behavioral variables. We show in a “two-country” firm model that real exchange risk, diversification motives and information costs are important elements in the determination of corporate international investment decisions. The dynamic portfolio model reflects the main results in several theories of foreign direct investment. Our model accounts for the role of information in explaining foreign investments. It provides simple explanations which are useful in explaining the home bias puzzle in international finance.

Using the dynamical programming principle method, we provide the general solution for the proportion of firm's total capital budget. We also use a new method to get explicit solutions in some special cases. This new method can be applied to solve other financial control problems. The simulating results are given to show our conclusion and the influence of some parameters to the optimal solution. The economic results can be seen as a generalization of the model in Solnik (J. Econ. Theory 8: 500–524, 1974).

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