The Survival of Foreign Subsidiaries and Domestically-owned Companies in Denmark, 1895 - 1995

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Over a long time period, 1895-1995, foreign subsidiaries in Denmark were found to have a lower survival-probability than domestically-owned manufacturing companies. The difference is highly significant and robust to control for size and industry effects. Since the number of foreign subsidiaries increased enormously throughout the period, lower relative survival rates are probably not an indicator of performance failure from the viewpoint of the parent companies. While low survival rates in foreign subsidiaries may be attributable to a number of factors (including differences between sales and production subsidiaries), this paper proposes governance differences between foreign subsidiaries and domestically-owned companies as a possible explanation. Consistent with hypothesized differences in corporate governance, domestically-owned companies are found to have higher equity reserves (equity/ assets ratios), which is found to have a positive impact on survival. For given equity - asset ratios no significant survival differences were found between the two groups.
TidsskriftScandinavian Economic History Review
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)72-86
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2000