Davide Vannoni

Empirical Studies on Corporate Diversification

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The paper critically reviews the large amount of empirical studies on diversification strategies and on closely related topics (acquisition and divestment patterns, corporate coherence, return to the core). In the theoretical literature three main motivations have been proposed to explain multioutput production: the resource view, the agency view and the market power view. Since all theories have been developed mainly without recurring to formalised models, it is difficult to build tests which unambiguously identify a particular view. The paper discusses in detail several empirical failures, and a limited number of strong results. Finally, some suggestions for re-addressing empirical investigation are given.

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