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Does Diversification Destroy Value? Evidence from Industry Shocks."

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  • OWEN A. LAMONT
  • CHRISTOPHER POLK

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Owen A. Lamont & Christopher Polk, "undated". "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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. " Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 111-133, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Lamont, Owen, 1997. " Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 83-109, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 35-80, February.
    6. 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 319-346, July.
    7. Owen Lamont & Christopher Polk, "undated". "The Diversification Discount: Cash Flows vs. Returns."," CRSP working papers 504, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    8. Jose Manuel Campa & Simi Kedia, 2002. "Explaining the Diversification Discount," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1731-1762, August.
    9. 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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    11. Hyun-Han Shin & René M. Stulz, 1998. "Are Internal capital Markets Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 531-552.
    12. 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 1248-1280, December.
    13. Kaplan, Steven N & Weisbach, Michael S, 1992. " The Success of Acquisitions: Evidence from Divestitures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 107-138, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frédéric Perdreau, 2002. "Searching for managerial opportunism faint traces in French diversifying acquisitions," Post-Print halshs-00010010, HAL.
    2. Laeven, Luc, 2001. "International evidence on the value of product and geographic diversity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2729, The World Bank.
    3. Martin, John D. & Sayrak, Akin, 2003. "Corporate diversification and shareholder value: a survey of recent literature," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 37-57, January.
    4. Stein, Jeremy C., 2003. "Agency, information and corporate investment," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 111-165 Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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