Exports-performance relationship in Russian manufacturing companies: Does foreign ownership play an enhancing role?
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between export activity and firm performance for a positive impact of foreign direct investments. We also analyse two possible causes of the effect: technology transfer and financial support. The theoretical background is rooted in the resource-based approach taking into account multinational companies’ perspective and the specifics of emerging markets. Design/methodology/approach - We propose testable hypotheses based on a review of the theory. To test the hypotheses, we build a sample of over 500 Russian public manufacturing firms covering the period from 2004 to 2014 and estimate regression models. Given concerns about endogeneity, the instrumental variable approach for panel data, using GMM-estimator, is implemented. Findings - Consistent with the view that foreign direct investments generate spillover effects, our results support the positive impact of foreign ownership on the link between exports and firms’ performance. Our results underline the importance of foreign ownership: shareholders from developed countries can provide benefits to exporting companies through transferring advanced technologies and loosening financial constraints by lowering interest and raising availability of bank loans.
Originality/value - We provide new insights on the relationship between exports and firm performance. Given our focus on Russia, a market with high potential to draw foreign investments, our research sheds some light on how emerging country firms can benefit from having foreign shareholders with paying attention to geographical distribution of such investments. Specifically, through the overcoming of technological barriers and loosening of financial constraints, we show empirically that foreign capital can make up for weak local institutional infrastructure and enhance the company’s’ returns from internationalization.