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The determinants of firm diversification in UK quoted companies

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  • Adrian Gourlay
  • Jonathan Seaton

Abstract

This paper examines the role of resource-based and governance factors in determining the boundaries of UK quoted companies, measured by both the probability and intensity of market diversification. Using a panel of over 2000 firms for the period 1988 to 2001 it is found that firm-level heterogeneity and industry characteristics account for the variability in diversification behaviour and that resource-based and governance factors interact in a complex manner not necessarily fully explained by the theoretical literature. The results also indicate that the degree of data aggregation has significant implications for the empirical modelling of market diversification.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Gourlay & Jonathan Seaton, 2004. "The determinants of firm diversification in UK quoted companies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2059-2071.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:18:p:2059-2071
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684042000295610
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M.A. Utton, 1979. "Diversification and Competition," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 89(1), pages 53-55, August.
    2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    5. David J. Denis & Diane K. Denis & Atulya Sarin, 1997. "Managerial Incentives And Corporate Diversification Strategies," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 10(2), pages 72-80.
    6. Berry, Charles H, 1971. "Corporate Growth and Diversification," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 371-384, October.
    7. Adrian Gourlay & Jonathan Seaton, 2003. "Export intensity in UK firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 471-477.
    8. Davies, Stephen W. & Rondi, Laura & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 2001. "Are multinationality and diversification complementary or substitute strategies?: An empirical analysis on European leading firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1315-1346, September.
    9. Lin, Tsai-Fen & Schmidt, Peter, 1984. "A Test of the Tobit Specification against an Alternative Suggested by Cragg," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 174-177, February.
    10. Haynes, Michelle & Thompson, Steve & Wright, Mike, 2000. "The determinants of corporate divestment in the UK," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 1201-1222, December.
    11. A. Gourlay & J. Seaton, 2004. "Explaining the decision to export: evidence from UK firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 153-158.
    12. Montgomery, Cynthia A. & Hariharan, S., 1991. "Diversified expansion by large established firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 71-89, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grossmann, Volker, 2007. "Firm size and diversification: Multiproduct firms in asymmetric oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 51-67, February.
    2. Ducassy, Isabelle & Prevot, Frédéric, 2010. "The effects of family dynamics on diversification strategy: Empirical evidence from French companies," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 224-235, December.

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