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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
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2729
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  1. 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.
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  8. 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.).
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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.
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  17. 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.
  18. Owen A. Lamont & Christopher Polk, . "Does Diversification Destroy Value? Evidence from Industry Shocks."," CRSP working papers 521, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  19. 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.
  20. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Fan, Joseph P.H. & Lang, Larry H.P., 2001. "The Benefits and Costs of Internal Markets: Evidence from Asia's Financial Crisis," CEI Working Paper Series 2001-15, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  21. Karl V. Lins & Henri Servaes, 2002. "Is Corporate Diversification Beneficial in Emerging Market?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 31(2), Summer.
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  23. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  24. Owen A. Lamont, 2001. "The Diversification Discount: Cash Flows Versus Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1693-1721, October.
  25. 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.
  26. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. " Agency Problems, Equity Ownership, and Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 135-60, March.
  27. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
  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.
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  31. Gordon M Phillips & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1999. "Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently?," Working Papers 99-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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