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Conglomerate Industry Choice and Product Differentiation

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  • Gerard Hoberg
  • Gordon M. Phillips

Abstract

We use text-based computational analysis of business descriptions from 10-Ks to examine in which industries conglomerates are most likely to operate and to understand conglomerate valuations. We find that conglomerates are more likely to operate in industry pairs that are closer together in the product space and in industry pairs that have profitable opportunities "between" them. Conglomerate firms have lower stock market valuations than matched single-segment firms when their products are easier to replicate with single-segment firms. Conglomerate firms have stock market premiums when they have higher product differentiation and produce in more profitable industries. These findings are consistent with successful conglomerate firms having higher product differentiation and lower cost entry into profitable markets when operating in strategically chosen industry pairs.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard Hoberg & Gordon M. Phillips, 2011. "Conglomerate Industry Choice and Product Differentiation," NBER Working Papers 17221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17221
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Boutin, Xavier & Cestone, Giacinta & Fumagalli, Chiara & Pica, Giovanni & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas, 2013. "The deep-pocket effect of internal capital markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 122-145.
    2. Giacomo Rodano & Emanuele Tarantino & Nicolas Serrano-Velarde, 2012. "Bankruptcy Law and the Cost of Banking Finance," Working Papers 1218, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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