Measuring the impact of globalization : an analysis of the risk and return of multinational firms

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Southern New Hampshire University
There have been several debates in the literature over the issue of multinational firms and their impact on profitability and risk. Previous literature suggests that multinational firms decrease their systematic risk owing to the diversification benefit of having cash flows in different countries. More recent empirical evidence has surfaced suggesting the contrary in that multinationals may increase their risk due to an increase in the standard deviation of cash flows from such additional risk factors as political risk, exchange rate risk, and information asymmetry. In conjunction with lower risk, it has been posited that firms have higher leverage. Empirical studies on profitability have shown similar rates of return for both domestic and international firms. Through the use of pooled regression analysis this paper finds support for the hypothesis that multinational firms experience lower debt, and lower profitability.
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