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The Limitations of Industry Concentration Measures Constructed with Compustat Data: Implications for Finance Research

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  • Ashiq Ali
  • Sandy Klasa
  • Eric Yeung
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    Abstract

    Industry concentration measures calculated with Compustat data, which cover only the public firms in an industry, are poor proxies for actual industry concentration. These measures have correlations of only 13% with the corresponding U.S. Census measures, which are based on all public and private firms in an industry. Also, only when U.S. Census measures are used is there evidence consistent with theoretical predictions that more-concentrated industries, which should be more oligopolistic, are populated by larger and fewer firms with higher price-cost margins. Further, the significant relations of Compustat-based industry concentration measures with the dependent variables of several important prior studies are not obtained when U.S. Census measures are used. One of the reasons for this occurrence is that Compustat-based measures proxy for industry decline. Overall, our results indicate that product markets research that uses Compustat-based industry concentration measures may lead to incorrect conclusions. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 3839-3871

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:10:p:3839-3871

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    Cited by:
    1. Karel Hrazdil & Thomas Scott, 2013. "The role of industry classification in estimating discretionary accruals," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 15-39, January.
    2. Bradley, Daniel & Yuan, Xiaojing, 2013. "Information spillovers around seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 106-118.
    3. Dutordoir, Marie & Roosenboom, Peter & Vasconcelos, Manuel, 2014. "Synergy disclosures in mergers and acquisitions," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 88-100.
    4. Yang, Holly I., 2012. "Capital market consequences of managers' voluntary disclosure styles," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 167-184.
    5. Manuel Núñez-Nickel & Susana Gago Rodríguez, 2010. "Evolutionary model of existing competition and voluntary disclosure," Business Economics Working Papers id-10-06, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto sobre Desarrollo Empresarial "Carmen Vidal Ballester".
    6. Chen, Sheng-Syan & Chen, Po-Jung & Lin, Wen-Chun, 2012. "The impact of strategic interaction on earnings expectations associated with corporate product strategies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 66-77.
    7. Hui, Kai Wai & Klasa, Sandy & Yeung, P. Eric, 2012. "Corporate suppliers and customers and accounting conservatism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 115-135.
    8. Hrazdil, Karel & Zhang, Ray, 2012. "The importance of industry classification in estimating concentration ratios," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 224-227.
    9. Lis-Gutiérrez, Jenny-Paola, 2013. "Medidas de concentración y estabilidad de mercado. Una aplicación para Excel
      [Market concentration and market stability measures. An application for Excel]
      ," MPRA Paper 47615, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Huang, Hsing-Hua & Lee, Han-Hsing, 2013. "Product market competition and credit risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 324-340.
    11. Badertscher, Brad & Shroff, Nemit & White, Hal D., 2013. "Externalities of public firm presence: Evidence from private firms' investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 682-706.
    12. Beyer, Anne & Cohen, Daniel A. & Lys, Thomas Z. & Walther, Beverly R., 2010. "The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 296-343, December.
    13. Jain, Bharat A. & Kini, Omesh & Shenoy, Jaideep, 2011. "Vertical divestitures through equity carve-outs and spin-offs: A product markets perspective," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 594-615, June.

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