Explaining the Diversification Discount

51 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2001  

José Manuel Campa

University of Navarra - Madrid Campus - IESE Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Simi Kedia

Rutgers Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

Diversified firms trade at a discount relative to similar single-segment firms. We argue in this paper that this observed discount is not per se evidence that diversification destroys value. Firms choose to diversify. Firm characteristics, which make firms diversify, might also cause them to be discounted. Not taking into account these firm characteristics might wrongly attribute the observed discount to diversification. Data from the Compustat Industry Segment File from 1978 to 1996 is used to select a sample of single segment and diversifying firms. We use three alternative econometric techniques to control for the endogeneity of the diversification decision. All three methods suggest the presence of self-selection in the decision to diversify and a negative correlation between firm's choice to diversify and firm value. The diversification discount always drops, and sometimes turns into a premium, when we control for the endogeneity of the diversification decision. We do a similar analysis in a sample of refocusing firms. Again, some evidence of self-selection by firms exists and we now find a positive correlation between firm's choice to refocus and firm value. These results consistently suggest the importance of taking the endogeneity of the diversification status into account, in analyzing its effect on firm value.

Suggested Citation

Campa, José Manuel and Kedia, Simi, Explaining the Diversification Discount (September 2001). AFA 2002 Atlanta Meetings. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=264763 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.264763

José Manuel Campa (Contact Author)

University of Navarra - Madrid Campus - IESE Business School ( email )

Camino del Cerro del Aguila 3
Madrid, 28023
Spain
+34 91 357 0809 (Phone)
+34 91 357 2913 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Simi Kedia

Rutgers Business School ( email )

117 Levin
94 Rockafellar Road
Piscataway, NJ
United States
8484454195 (Phone)

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