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ABSTRACT

This paper provides a comprehensive examination of the disciplinary role of the corporate takeover market using a sample of U.S. target firms over the period 1979 to 1998. The time period spanned allows a broader study not only of the disciplinary role of the takeover market in general, but also of the interaction between the takeover market and alternative governance mechanisms during the 1980s and 1990s. Overall, our evidence is consistent with the view of the corporate takeover market as a “court of last resort,” that is, it is an external source of discipline that intercedes when internal control mechanisms are relatively weak or ineffective.