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Import to invest: Impact of cultural goods on cross-border mergers and acquisitions

Chang Li and Lianxing Yang

Economic Modelling, 2020, vol. 93, issue C, 354-364

Abstract: Existing studies have demonstrated the necessities of formal institutions and negativity of cultural distance in international investments. Surprisingly, China’s exponential increase of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and its low-quality institutions and distinct cultural norms contradict these studies. This paper aims to tackle this puzzle by examining the role of cultural imports in cross-border M&As. Our empirical evidence suggests that the trade of cultural goods significantly increases the volume and realized economic gains of M&As from importing to exporting countries. Our results are robust to alternative measures and an instrumental variable approach. On exploring potential channels, we find that imported cultural goods could drive cultural convergence between countries and also mitigate the adverse effect of cultural distance on merger outcomes. We further show that cultural imports could help firms in overcoming contractual barriers at target countries. This paper provides practical implications for cross-border investments in the current world with intensified cultural conflicts.

Keywords: Cultural imports; Cross-border mergers and acquisitions; Cultural distance; Contractual barriers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G34 F14 F21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2020.08.014

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