Found 33 article(s) for author 'Laura Alfaro'

The Real Effects of Capital Controls: Firm-Level Evidence from a Policy Experiment

The Real Effects of Capital Controls: Firm-Level Evidence from a Policy Experiment. Laura Alfaro, June 2017, Paper, “This paper evaluates the effects of capital controls on firm-level stock returns and real investment using data from Brazil. On average, there is a statistically significant drop in cumulative abnormal returns consistent with an increase in the cost of capital for Brazilian firms following capital control announcements. Large firms and the largest exporting firms appear less negatively affected compared to external-finance-dependent firms, and capital controls on equity inflows have a more negative announcement effect on equity returns than those on debt inflows. Overall, the findings have implications for macro-finance models that abstract from heterogeneity at the firm level to examine the optimality of capital control taxation.Link

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Lessons Unlearned? Corporate Debt in Emerging Markets

Lessons Unlearned? Corporate Debt in Emerging Markets. Laura Alfaro, May 2017, Paper, “This paper documents a set of stylized facts about leverage and financial fragility in the nonfinancial corporate sector in emerging markets since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Corporate debt vulnerability indicators prior to the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) attributed to corporate financial roots provide a benchmark for comparison. The firm-level data suggest that emerging markets post-GFC have lower leverage ratios than the five Asian crisis countries (Asian Five) in the run-up to the AFC. However, a broader set of emerging market countries show weaker liquidity, solvency, and profitability indicators.Link

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Multinational Activity in Emerging Markets: How and When Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Growth?

Multinational Activity in Emerging Markets: How and When Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Growth? Laura Alfaro, 2017, Paper, “Among the prominent economic trends in recent decades is the exponential increase in flows of goods and capital driven by technological progress and falling of restrictions. A key driver of this phenomenon has been the cross-border production, foreign investment, and trade both final and intermediate goods by multinational corporations. Research has sought to understand how foreign direct investment (FDI) affects host economies. This paper reviews the main theories and empirical evidence of two streams of literature: the mechanisms by which multinational activity might create positive effects and externalities to countries and the role of complementary local conditions, also known as “absorptive capacities,” that allow a country to reap the benefits of FDI paying particular attention to the role of factor markets, reallocation effects, and the linkages generated between foreign and domestic firms.Link

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Transportation Cost and the Geography of Foreign Investment

Transportation Cost and the Geography of Foreign Investment. Laura Alfaro, January 6, 2017, Paper, “Falling transportation costs and rapid technological progress in recent decades have precipitated an explosion of cross-border flows in goods, services, investments, and ideas led by multinational firms. Extensive research has sought to understand the geographic patterns of foreign direct investment (FDI). This chapter reviews existing theories and evidence specifically addressing questions including: How is FDI distributed across space? Why does the law of gravity apply? How do the costs of transporting goods, tasks, and technologies influence firms’ decisions to separate tasks geographically and locate relative to one another? We discuss a variety of theoretical mechanisms through which transport cost and other geographic friction influence FDI and present the key empirical studies and findings.Link

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Multinational Firms, Value Chains, and Vertical Integration

Multinational Firms, Value Chains, and Vertical Integration. Laura Alfaro, 2016, Paper, “In recent decades there has been a very rapid increase in flows of goods and capital between countries and between firms, driven by technological progress and falling cross-border restrictions. The rising ability to retain or outsource various production stages within firms and across country boundaries has fueled fragmentation of production and the emergence of global value chains. Cross-border production, investment, and trade in final and intermediate goods by multinational corporations (MNCs) are key drivers of this phenomenon.Link

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Location Fundamentals, Agglomeration Economies, and the Geography of Multinational Firms

Location Fundamentals, Agglomeration Economies, and the Geography of Multinational Firms. Laura Alfaro, August 2016, Paper, “Multinationals exhibit distinct agglomeration patterns which have transformed the global landscape of industrial production (Alfaro and Chen, 2014). Using a unique worldwide plant-level dataset that reports detailed location, ownership, and operation information for plants in over 100 countries, we construct a spatially continuous index of pairwise-industry agglomeration and investigate the patterns and determinants underlying the global economic geography of multinational firms. In particular, we run a horse-race between two distinct economic forces: location fundamentals and agglomeration economies. We find that location fundamentals including market access and comparative advantage and agglomeration economies including capital-good market externality and technology diffusion play a particularly important role in multinationals’ economic geography.Link

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Microeconomics of Competitiveness Financial Services Cluster in Lima – Final Report

Microeconomics of Competitiveness Financial Services Cluster in Lima – Final Report. Laura Alfaro, May 6, 2016, Paper. “Since gaining independence from the Spanish Empire in 1824, Peru has had a long history of dictatorships and military coups. Only in the 1980s did the country achieve a peacefully elected democracy. Since that time, in spite of pressure from fringe, armed political groups like the “Shining Path”, the country has managed thirty-six years (and counting) of stable democracy. The country today exists as a constitutional republic with a unicameral legislature, and there are roughly eight active political parties at the national stage1 (parties coalesce and diverge as coalitions form and break apart from vote to vote).Link

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Gains from Foreign Direct Investment: Macro and Micro Approaches World Bank’s ABCDE Conference

Gains from Foreign Direct Investment: Macro and Micro Approaches World Bank’s ABCDE Conference. Laura Alfaro, March 23, 2016, Paper. “This paper discussed the importance of an “integrated approach” to the study of the effects of FDI on host countries. Macro-level work that examines countries at different stages of development and institutional capacity is needed to surface the role of local conditions and absorptive capacities; micro-level work, that is firm-level data in developed as well as developing nations, to understand the mechanisms that impart substance to the anticipated benefits; and theoretical work to guide the analyses. The paper summarizes likely motives for foreign direct investment and potential effects of FDI on local economies as well as recent findings from the macro literature on the role of complementarities between FDI and local policies, conditions, and institutions and summarizes new efforts to understand the micro mechanisms and channels by which host countries can benefit from multinational activity, within and between firm productivity increases.Link

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Fiscal Rules and Sovereign Default

Fiscal Rules and Sovereign Default. Laura Alfaro, February 2016, Paper. “We provide a quantitative analysis of fiscal rules in a standard model of sovereign debt accumulation and default, modified to incorporate quasi-hyperbolic preferences. For reasons of political economy or aggregation of citizens’ preferences, government preferences are present biased, resulting in over accumulation of debt. A quantitative exercise calibrated to Brazil finds welfare gains of the optimal fiscal policy to be economically substantial, and the optimal rule to not entail a countercyclical fiscal policy.Link

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