Management International Review

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 209–241 | Cite as

Experience, Equity and Foreign Investment Risk: A PIC Perspective

  • Barclay E. JamesEmail author
  • Paul M. Vaaler
Research Article


We analyze foreign investment risk-mitigating effects of host-country policy stability, firm experience and equity stakes using an empirical context largely ignored by international business (IB) research: project investment companies (PICs). PICs permit cleaner separation of individual investment project risk from the parent firm, which may otherwise pool risk characteristics from managing multiple projects across different industries and countries. PICs also permit potentially unbiased, prospective risk assessment at the time of a project’s initial announcement based on the mix of debt and equity funding the project. Consistent with previous IB research, our analyses of 396 PICs announced in 53 countries from 1990–2006 indicate that investment risk measured as the percentage of equity-to-total capital funding a PIC decreases with greater host-country policy stability, lead-investor experience in the host country, and lead-investor equity stakes. But contrary to previous IB research, we find that lead-sponsor experience and equity stakes reduce investment risk less as host-country policy stability decreases. From a PIC perspective, investor experience and equity stakes are complements to (not substitutes for) host-country policy stability. Our PIC-based evidence re-invigorates research and related practice and policy debates about how investor experience and equity holdings affect foreign project decisions and suggests new avenues for future work.


Foreign investment risk Project investment companies Experience Equity Policy stability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, USFQ Business SchoolQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Law SchoolUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Carlson School of ManagementUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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