Lost in Translation? The Effect of Cultural Values on Mergers Around the World
Kenneth R. Ahern
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business
Politecnico di Milano - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering
University of Texas at Austin
January 17, 2012
Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming
We find strong evidence that three key dimensions of national culture (trust, hierarchy, and individualism) affect merger volume and synergy gains. The volume of cross-border mergers is lower when countries are more culturally distant. In addition, greater cultural distance in trust and individualism leads to lower combined announcement returns. These findings are robust to year and country-level fixed effects, time-varying country-pair and deal-level variables, as well as instrumental variables for cultural differences based on genetic and somatic differences. The results are the first large-scale evidence that cultural differences have substantial impacts on multiple aspects of cross-border mergers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 59
Keywords: Mergers & Acquisitions, Culture, Trust, Hierarchy, Individualism, Egalitarianism, International, Cross-border
JEL Classification: G34, M14, Z1Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 1, 2010 ; Last revised: June 5, 2013
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