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Trade-offs in Staying Close: Corporate Decision Making and Geographic Dispersion

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  • Augustin Landier
  • Vinay B. Nair
  • Julie Wulf

Abstract

We investigate whether the geographic dispersion of a firm affects corporate decision making. Our findings suggest that social factors work alongside informational considerations to make geography important to corporate decisions. We show that (i) geographically dispersed firms are less employee friendly; (ii) dismissals of divisional employees are less common in divisions located closer to corporate headquarters; and (iii) firms appear to adopt a 'pecking order' and divest out-of-state entities before those in-state. To explain these findings, we consider both information and social factors. We find that firms are more likely to protect proximate employees in soft information industries (i.e., when information is difficult to transfer over long distances). However, employee protection holds only when the headquarters is located in a less populated county, suggesting a role for social factors. Additionally, stock markets respond favorably to divestitures of in-state divisions. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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  • Augustin Landier & Vinay B. Nair & Julie Wulf, 2009. "Trade-offs in Staying Close: Corporate Decision Making and Geographic Dispersion," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 1119-1148, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:3:p:1119-1148
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhm042
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    1. Coen-Pirani, Daniele & León, Alexis & Lugauer, Steven, 2010. "The effect of household appliances on female labor force participation: Evidence from microdata," Labour Economics, Elsevier, pages 503-513.
    2. Coen-Pirani, Daniele, 2005. "Margin requirements and equilibrium asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 449-475, March.
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