Political Risk and the Cost of Capital in Asia-Pacific Property Markets
Asian Real Estate Society
International Real Estate Review
This study investigates the impact of political risk on the cost of capital for publicly traded real estate firms. More specifically, by using a sample of 102 REITs and listed property trusts, which hold nearly 6,000 distinct investment properties across the Asia-Pacific region, we find strong empirical evidence that increased exposure to political risk increases both the cost of equity financing of a firm and its weighted average cost of capital. Interestingly, no such linkages are apparent between political risk and the cost of debt of a firm. These empirical results are robust to a variety of alternative measures of political risk, including a: 1) political rights index, 2) political change index, and 3) corruption perceptions index.