Using a comprehensive and proprietary dataset on international private equity activity, we study the determinants of buyout investments across 61 countries and 19 industries over the period of 1990-2017. We find evidence that macroeconomic conditions, development of stock and credit markets, and the regulatory environment in a country are important drivers of international buyout capital flows. We show that countries with low unemployment, more active stock and credit markets, and better rule of law receive more buyout capital. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we explore regulatory reforms some countries have adopted over the sample period and find that countries receive significantly more buyout capital following investor protection and contract enforcement reforms. The impact of regulatory reform is more pronounced in countries with better corporate governance standards and education. Buyout investment responds to these factors more so than foreign direct investment and gross domestic fixed investment.
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