Article | American Economic Journal: Economic Policy | August 2012

Surviving the Global Financial Crisis: Foreign Ownership and Establishment Performance

by Laura Alfaro and Maggie Chen

Abstract

We examine the differential response of establishments to the recent global financial crisis with particular emphasis on the role of foreign ownership. Using a worldwide establishment panel dataset, we investigate how multinational subsidiaries around the world responded to the crisis relative to local establishments. We find that first, multinational subsidiaries fared on average better than local counterfactuals with similar economic characteristics. Second, among multinational subsidiaries, establishments sharing stronger vertical production and financial linkages with parents exhibited greater resilience. Finally, in contrast to the crisis period, the effect of foreign ownership and linkages on establishment performance was insignificant in non-crisis years.

Keywords: Globalization; Financial Crisis; Multinational Firms and Management; Data and Data Sets; Business Subsidiaries; Production; Finance; Performance; Ownership;

Citation:

Alfaro, Laura, and Maggie Chen. "Surviving the Global Financial Crisis: Foreign Ownership and Establishment Performance." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 4, no. 3 (August 2012): 30–55. (Also NBER Working Paper No. 17141.)