Both Sides of Corporate Diversification: The Value Impacts of Geographic and Industrial Diversification
Gordon M. Bodnar, Charles Tang, Joseph Weintrop
NBER Working Paper No. 6224
This paper examines the effect of geographic and industrial diversification on firm value for a sample of over 20,000 firm-year observations of U.S. corporations from 1987-1993. Our" multivariate tests indicate the average value of a firm with international operations is 2.2% higher than comparable domestic single activity firms, while the average value of a firm with activities in multiple industrial segments is 5.4% lower than a portfolio of comparable focused domestic firms in similar activities. More importantly, we demonstrate that failure to control simultaneously for both dimensions of diversification results in over-estimation of the negative value impact of industrial diversification, but has little impact on estimates of the positive value impact of geographic diversification.