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The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment

Witold J. Henisz
Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Oct., 2000), pp. 334-364
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3555095
Page Count: 31
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The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment
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Abstract

This article posits that the effect of political hazards on the choice of market entry mode varies across multinational firms based on the extent to which they face expropriation hazards from their potential joint-venture partners in the host country (the level of contractual hazards). As political hazards increase, the multinational faces an increasing threat of opportunistic expropriation by the government. Partnering with host-country firms that possess a comparative advantage in interactions with the host-country government can safeguard against this hazard. However, as contractual hazards increase, the potential benefit to the joint-venture partner of manipulating the political system for it's own benefit at the expense of the multinational increases as well, thereby diminishing the hazard-mitigating benefit of forming a joint venture. A two-stage bivariate probit estimation technique is used to test these hypotheses on a sample of 3,389 overseas manufacturing operations by 461 firms in 112 countries.

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