Scope, Scale and Competition: The 21st Century Firm
69 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2021
Date Written: January 14, 2021
We provide evidence that over the past 30 years, U.S. firms have expanded their scope of operations. Increases in scope and scale were achieved largely without increasing traditional operating segments. Scope expansion significantly increases valuation and is primarily realized through acquisitions and investment in R&D, but not through capital expenditures. We show that traditional concentration ratios do not capture this expansion of scope and are upward biased. After accounting for scope, we do not find evidence that industry concentration is increasing. Our findings point to a new type of firm that increases scope through related expansion, which is highly valued by the market.
Keywords: firm scope, economies of scope, products, concentration, firm size, scale
JEL Classification: O31, O34, D43, F13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation