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International evidence on the value of product and geographic diversity

  • Laeven, Luc

The author examines the effect of product and geographic diversification on firm value for a sample of 1,914 corporations in 18 countries. His results indicate that both product and geographic diversification destroy value at high levels of diversification, suggesting that agency and influence costs arising from the increased complexity outweigh the benefits of diversification at high levels. Geographic diversification is valuable at low levels, however. The author finds that insider ownership is associated with less diversification, across both product and geographic segments, suggesting that insiders view corporate diversification as value destroying.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2729.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2729
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  1. Lewellen, Wilbur G, 1971. "A Pure Financial Rationale for the Conglomerate Merger," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 521-37, May.
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  9. Bodnar, G.M. & Tang, C. & Weintrop, J., 1998. "Both Sides of Corporate Diversification: The Value Impacts of Geographic and Industrial Diversification," Weiss Center Working Papers 98-02, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
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  12. Meyer, Margaret & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1992. "Organizational Prospects, Influence Costs, and Ownership Changes," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 9-35, Spring.
  13. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
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  15. Errunza, Vihang R & Senbet, Lemma W, 1981. "The Effects of International Operations on the Market Value of the Firm: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 401-17, May.
  16. Lang, Larry H P & Stulz, Rene M, 1994. "Tobin's q, Corporate Diversification, and Firm Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1248-80, December.
  17. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1995. "Corporate focus and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-87, January.
  18. Matsusaka, John G, 2001. "Corporate Diversification, Value Maximization, and Organizational Capabilities," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(3), pages 409-31, July.
  19. Lang, Larry & Poulsen, Annette & Stulz, Rene, 1995. "Asset sales, firm performance, and the agency costs of managerial discretion," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 3-37, January.
  20. Karl V. Lins & Henri Servaes, 2002. "Is Corporate Diversification Beneficial in Emerging Market?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 31(2), Summer.
  21. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Fan, Joseph P.H. & Lang, Larry H.P., 2001. "The Pattern and Valuation Effects of Corporate Diversification: A Comparison of the United States, Japan, and other East Asian Economies," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  22. Ronald C. Anderson & Thomas W. Bates & John M. Bizjak & Michael L. Lemmon, 2000. "Corporate Governance and Firm Diversification," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 29(1), Spring.
  23. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  24. Errunza, Vihang R & Senbet, Lemma W, 1984. " International Corporate Diversification, Market Valuation, and Size-Adjusted Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 727-43, July.
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  26. Reid W. Click & Paul Harrison, 2000. "Does multinationality matter? Evidence of value destruction in U.S. multinational corporations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-21, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  27. Owen A. Lamont, 2001. "The Diversification Discount: Cash Flows Versus Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1693-1721, October.
  28. Patrick Bolton & David S. Scharfstein, 1998. "Corporate Finance, the Theory of the Firm, and Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 95-114, Fall.
  29. Naveen Khanna, 2001. "The Bright Side of Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1489-1528, 08.
  30. John, Kose & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Asset sales and increase in focus," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 105-126, January.
  31. Berger, Philip G & Ofek, Eli, 1999. "Causes and Effects of Corporate Refocusing Programs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 311-45.
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