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Waves and persistence in merger and acquisition activity

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  • Barkoulas, John T.
  • Baum, Christopher F.
  • Chakraborty, Atreya

Abstract

Does merger and acquisition (M&A) activity occur in waves, that is, are there oscillations between low and high levels of M&A activity? The answer to this question is important in developing univariate as well as structural models of explaining and forecasting the stochastic behavior of M&A activity. There is evidence to suggest that aggregate U.S. time-series data on merger and acquisition (M&A) activity exhibit a "wave" behavior, which has been modeled by fitting either a two-state Markov switching-regime model or a sine-wave model to the data. This study provides an alternative characterization of the temporal patterns in M&A as a nonlinear process with strongly persistent or long-memory dynamics. The apparent level changes or partial cycles of differing magnitudes in aggregate M&A time series are consistent with an underlying data generating process exhibiting long memory. Time- and frequency-domain estimation methods are applied to a long M&A time series constructed by Town (1992), covering approximately a century of merger activity in the U.S. economy. We find significant evidence of long-term cyclical behavior, nonperiodic in nature, in the M&A time series, even after accounting for potential shifts in the mean level of the series. A shock to M&A activity exhibits significant persistence as it is damped at the very slow hyperbolic rate, but it eventually dissipates. We provide both theoretical and empirical rationales for the presence of fractional dynamics with long-memory features in M&A activity. Theoretically, long-term dependence may be due to persistent differences in firm valuation between stockholders and nonstockholders following an "economic disturbance," as suggested by Gort (1969). Empirically, long-memory dynamics in M&A activity may reflect the statistical properties of fundamental factors underlying its behavior, as several of the proposed determinants of M&A activity have been shown to exhibit strong persistence.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 70 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 237-243

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:70:y:2001:i:2:p:237-243

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References

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  1. Gort, Michael, 1969. "An Economic Disturbance Theory of Mergers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 624-42, November.
  2. Diebold, Francis X. & Lindner, Peter, 1996. "Fractional integration and interval prediction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 305-313, March.
  3. Sowell, Fallaw, 1992. "Modeling long-run behavior with the fractional ARIMA model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 277-302, April.
  4. Golbe, Devra L & White, Lawrence J, 1993. "Catch a Wave: The Time Series Behavior of Mergers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 493-99, August.
  5. Sowell, Fallaw, 1992. "Maximum likelihood estimation of stationary univariate fractionally integrated time series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 165-188.
  6. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 1994. "The long memory of the forward premium," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 565-571, October.
  7. Shea, Gary S, 1991. "Uncertainty and Implied Variance Bounds in Long-Memory Models of the Interest Rate Term Structure," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 287-312.
  8. Town, R J, 1992. "Merger Waves and the Structure of Merger and Acquisition Time-Series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S83-100, Suppl. De.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Salvo, 2004. "A General Analysis of Sequential Merger Games with an Application to Cross-Border Mergers," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 36, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Dennis L. Gärtner & Daniel Halbheer, 2008. "Are There Waves in Merger Activity After All?," Working Papers 0092, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  3. Nakamura, Richard, 2004. "To Merge And Acquire When The Times Are Good? The Influence Of Macro Factors On The Japanese M&A Pattern," EIJS Working Paper Series 197, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  4. Neumann, Gyde & Weiss, Christoph R., 2001. "Strukturwandel durch Fusionen im Ernährungssektor: Ein anhaltender Konzentrationsprozess?," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 50(6).
  5. Marcelo Resende, 2012. "Long Memory in Mergers and Acquisitions: Sectoral Evidence for an Emerging Economy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2876-2883.
  6. Florian Szücs, 2013. "Clustering Properties of Merger Waves: Space, Time or Industry?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1322, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Nakamura, H. Richard, 2002. "Mapping Out the Japanese Mergers & Acquisitions Patterns - The Influence of Macro Factors on M & As," EIJS Working Paper Series 164, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  8. Gadea, Maria Dolores & Sabate, Marcela & Serrano, Jose Maria, 2004. "Structural breaks and their trace in the memory: Inflation rate series in the long-run," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 117-134, April.
  9. Margarita Sapozhnikov, 2006. "Mergers and Government Policy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 656, Boston College Department of Economics.

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