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Tobin's Q, Corporate Diversification and Firm Performance

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  • Larry H.P. Lang
  • Rene M. Stulz

Abstract

In this paper, we show that Tobin's q and firm diversification are negatively related. This negative relation holds for different diversification measures and when we control for other known determinants of q. We show further that diversified firms have lower q's than equivalent portfolios of specialized firms. This negative relation holds throughout the 1980s in our sample. Finally, it holds for firms that have kept their number of segments constant over a number of years as well as for firms that have not. In our sample, firms that increase their number of segments have lower q's than firms that keep their number of segment constant. Our evidence is consistent with the view that firms seek growth through diversification when they have exhausted internal growth opportunities. We fail to find evidence supportive of the view that diversification provides firms with a valuable intangible asset

Suggested Citation

  • Larry H.P. Lang & Rene M. Stulz, 1993. "Tobin's Q, Corporate Diversification and Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 4376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4376
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