The paper studies the impact of foreign ownership on a firm’s economic performance. We use a unique panel dataset to test the foreign ownership premium by comparing our sample of firms based in Italy and owned by a foreign subject with a sample of purely domestic firms that, in order to have a proper counterfactual, were selected using propensity score matching. Our difference-in-differences results show the existence of a premium for the size, profitability and financial soundness of the foreign-owned companies. The premium increases with time, is concentrated in the service sector, and disappears if the foreign investor is based in a fiscal haven.
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