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Does Diversification Destroy Value? Evidence from Industry Shocks."

  • OWEN A. LAMONT
  • CHRISTOPHER POLK

Does corporate diversification reduce shareholder value? Since firms endogenously choose to diversify, exogenous variation in diversification is necessary in order to draw inferences about the causal effect. We examine changes in the within-firm dispersion of industry investment, or diversity.' We find that exogenous changes in diversity, due to changes in industry investment, are negatively related to firm value. Thus diversification destroys value, consistent with the inefficient internal capital markets hypothesis. This finding is not caused by measurement error. We also find that exogenous changes in industry cash flow diversity are negative related to firm value.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 521.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:521
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  1. José Manuel Campa & Simi Kedia, 1999. "Explaining the Diversification Discount," Working Papers 99-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Fluck, Zsuzsanna & Lynch, Anthony W, 1999. "Why Do Firms Merge and Then Divest? A Theory of Financial Synergy," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(3), pages 319-46, July.
  4. Hyun-Han Shin & René M. Stulz, 1998. "Are Internal Capital Markets Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 531-552, May.
  5. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1990. " Do Managerial Objectives Drive Bad Acquisitions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 31-48, March.
  6. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, . "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CRSP working papers 357, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 1994. "What do firms do with cash windfalls?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 337-360, December.
  8. Kaplan, Steven N & Weisbach, Michael S, 1992. " The Success of Acquisitions: Evidence from Divestitures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 107-38, March.
  9. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. " Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 111-33, March.
  10. Owen Lamont, 1996. "Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 5499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
  12. 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.
  13. Owen Lamont & Christopher Polk, . "The Diversification Discount: Cash Flows vs. Returns."," CRSP working papers 504, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  14. 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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