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Corporate governance and cash policies of multinational corporations

Christof Beuselinck, Marc Deloof and Ann Vanstraelen

Working Papers from University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics

Abstract: This study investigates cash policies of multinational corporations (MNCs) for a large sample of European MNCs and their subsidiaries in the period 1998-2004. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that cash holdings depend on a trade-off between the superior knowledge of the subsidiary over headquarters and the agency costs of discretionary behavior by the subsidiary’s management. We find that foreign subsidiaries hold more cash than domestic subsidiaries, although geographical distance from headquarters does not seem to matter. Horizontal subsidiaries hold more cash than vertical subsidiaries. Furthermore, we find that subsidiaries hold more cash if they are located in a country with better law enforcement and lower corruption. This result is consistent with the argument that better corporate governance in the subsidiary country reduces the risk of expropriation by the subsidiary management. Finally, the availability of external finance in the subsidiary country reduces the level of subsidiary cash holdings.

Keywords: Cash holdings; Multinational corporations; Parent-subsidiary relationship; Shareholder protection; Law enforcement; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F23 G32 G38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2011-12
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Working Paper: Corporate governance and cash policies of multinational corporations (2012) Downloads
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