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Reallocation of Corporate Resources and Managerial Incentives in Internal Capital Markets

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  • Sandro Brusco
  • Fausto Panunzi

Abstract

Diversified firms often trade at a discount with respect to their focused counterparts. The literature has tried to explain the apparent misallocation of resources with lobbying activities or power struggles. We show that diversification can destroy value even when resources are efficiently allocated ex post. When managers derive utility from the funds under their purview, moving funds across divisions may diminish their incentives. The ex ante reduction in managerial incentives can more than offset the increase in firm value due to the ex post efficient reallocation of funds. This effect is robust to the introduction of monetary incentives. We apply our model to the analysis of the optimal reallocation policy and to the effect of the asymmetry among divisions. In general it is optimal for headquarters to commit not to reallocate at least a fraction of funds. As a result, the investment in a given division is more sensitive to the division’s cash flow than to other divisions‘ cash flow. Asymmetries in size and growth prospects increase the diversification discount.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 735.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_735

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  1. Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Agency, Information and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 8342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 5969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gordon M Phillips & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1999. "Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently?," Working Papers 99-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  7. Brusco, Sandro & Panunzi, Fausto, 2000. "Reallocation of Corporate Resources and Managerial Incentives in Internal Capital Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  17. Servaes, Henri, 1996. " The Value of Diversification during the Conglomerate Merger Wave," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1201-25, September.
  18. Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized vs. Hierarchical Firms," NBER Working Papers 7705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fluck, Zsuzsanna & Lynch, Anthony W, 1999. "Why Do Firms Merge and Then Divest? A Theory of Financial Synergy," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(3), pages 319-46, July.
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