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Keywords:

  • profit components;
  • firm performance;
  • industry effects

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the importance of year, industry, corporate-parent, and business-specific effects on the profitability of U.S. public corporations within specific 4-digit SIC categories. Our results indicate that year, industry, corporate-parent, and business-specific effects account for 2 percent, 19 percent, 4 percent, and 32 percent, respectively, of the aggregate variance in profitability. We also find that the importance of the effects differs substantially across broad economic sectors. Industry effects account for a smaller portion of profit variance in manufacturing but a larger portion in lodging/entertainment, services, wholesale/retail trade, and transportation. Across all sectors we find a negative covariance between corporate-parent and industry effects. A detailed analysis suggests that industry, corporate-parent, and business-specific effects are related in complex ways. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.