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International expansion, diversification and regulated firms' nonmarket strategy

Author

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  • Bonardi, Jean-Philippe
  • Urbiztondo, Santiago
  • Quélin, Bertrand

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that regulated firms tend to diversify for different reasons than unregulated ones. This is the case for product but also for geographical diversification, i.e. international expansion. The logic generally advanced is that regulated firms tend to diversify when they face costly and difficult relationships with the regulatory authority in charge of their sector. This approach, however, does not explain (1) what is really at the core of the problem in regulated firms’ relationships with regulators, (2) why these firms cannot overcome part of the problem by developing nonmarket strategies –lobbying, campaign contributions, etc.– to influence regulatory decisions, and (3) why they sometimes opt for international expansion rather than product diversification. In this paper, we propose a theoretical model that provides potential answers to these questions. We start by considering the firm-regulator relationship as an incomplete information problem, in which the firms know things that the regulator does not, but can cannot convey hard information about these things. In this setting, we show that when firms face tough nonmarket competition domestically, going abroad can create a mechanism that makes information transmission credible and therefore strengthen their position in their home market. International expansion, in consequence, can be a way to solve some of the problems that regulated firms face at home in addition to a way for these firms to grow their business abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonardi, Jean-Philippe & Urbiztondo, Santiago & Quélin, Bertrand, 2009. "International expansion, diversification and regulated firms' nonmarket strategy," MPRA Paper 14436, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14436
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
    2. Wiersema,Margarethe & Bowen, Harry P., 2005. "Corporate international diversification: the impact of foreign competition, industry globalization and product diversification," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2005-6, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    3. Matthias Dahm & Nicolás Porteiro, 2008. "Informational lobbying under the shadow of political pressure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 531-559, May.
    4. Wolf, Bernard M, 1977. "Industrial Diversification and Internationalization: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 177-191, December.
    5. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    6. Gerpott, Torsten J. & Jakopin, Nejc M., 2005. "The degree of internationalization and the financial performance of European mobile network operators," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 635-661, September.
    7. Palmer, Karen, 1991. "Diversification by Regulated Monopolies and Incentives for Cost-Reducing R&D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 266-270, May.
    8. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2004. "Astroturf: Interest Group Lobbying and Corporate Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 561-597, December.
    9. Steve Thompson, 1999. "Increasingly Marginal Utilities: Diversification and Free Cash Flow in Newly Privatized UK Utilities," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 15(1), pages 25-42, August.
    10. Sappington, David E. M., 2003. "Regulating horizontal diversification," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-315, March.
    11. MB Sarkar & S Tamer Cavusgil & Preet S Aulakh, 1999. "International Expansion of Telecommunication Carriers: The Influence of Market Structure, Network Characteristics, and Entry Imperfections," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(2), pages 361-381, June.
    12. Dunning, John H, 1979. "Explaining Changing Patterns of International Production: In Defence of the Eclectic Theory," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 41(4), pages 269-295, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International diversification; regulated firms; lobbying;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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