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Agency Costs And The Size Discount: Evidence From Acquisitions

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  • Offenberg, David

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    (Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA)

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    Abstract

    Many scholars have found a negative relationship between a firm’s size and its value, as measured by Tobin’s q. This result is called the size discount. There are hypotheses about why the size discount exists, but none have been rigorously empirically tested. This paper argues that the size discount is created by the inability of shareholders to minimize agency costs in larger companies. Statistical tests suggest that the size discount only appears in large firms with managers that impose excessive agency costs upon their shareholders. Empiricists who use Tobin’s q to proxy for growth opportunities may need a different proxy.

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    File URL: http://www.esan.edu.pe/publicaciones/2010/11/30/05.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Universidad ESAN in its journal Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 29 ()
    Pages: 73-93

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    Handle: RePEc:ris:joefas:0024

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    Related research

    Keywords: Agency costs; size discount; acquisitions; corporate governance.;

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    1. Palepu, Krishna G., 1986. "Predicting takeover targets : A methodological and empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-35, March.
    2. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 110.
    3. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
    4. Michael C. Jensen, 1994. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, And The Failure Of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(4), pages 4-23.
    5. Dilip K. Shome & Sudhir Singh, 1995. "Firm Value and External Blockholdings," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 24(4), Winter.
    6. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
    7. R. Glenn Hubbard & Darius Palia, 1996. "Benefits of Control, Managerial Ownership, and the Stock Returns of Acquiring Firms," NBER Working Papers 5079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Offenberg, David, 2009. "Firm size and the effectiveness of the market for corporate control," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 66-79, February.
    9. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
    10. Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Ruback, Richard S., 1985. "An empirical analysis of the interfirm equity investment process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 523-553, December.
    11. Yermack, David, 2006. "Flights of fancy: Corporate jets, CEO perquisites, and inferior shareholder returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 211-242, April.
    12. Mark L. Mitchell & Kenneth Lehn, 1990. "Do Bad Bidders Become Good Targets?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 3(2), pages 60-69.
    13. Moeller, Sara B. & Schlingemann, Frederik P. & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Firm size and the gains from acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 201-228, August.
    14. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 351.
    15. Mitchell, Mark L & Lehn, Kenneth, 1990. "Do Bad Bidders Become Good Targets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 372-98, April.
    16. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    17. Thompson, Steve, 1997. "Takeover activity among financial mutuals: An analysis of target characteristics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 37-53, January.
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