The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We use data on the sources of debt finance of U.S. majority-owned foreign affiliates in 53 countries over the period 1983 to 2001 to examine the role of financial market development, and exposure to host country-specific risk on the financing choices of these affiliates. We find that total balance sheets are about four times as large as the cross-border component of foreign direct investment (FDI). The extent of financial leverage through local debt is positively related to host-country corporate tax rates, exchange rate variability, local currency-denominated sales, and financial development. Factors that further the role of local debt reduce that of parent company debt, and through this substitution overall leverage increases.