The Dynamics of Diversification Discount*


  • *

    I thank Nilanjan Basu, David J. Denis, Inmoo Lee, Mark D. Walker, and seminar participants at National University of Singapore and Sungkyunkwan University for helpful comments. I acknowledge financial support for the project from Ministry of Education, Singapore and Academic Research Council of National University of Singapore.

**Biz1 #03-27, 1 Business Link, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117592; E-mail:; Tel: +65-6516-4555; Fax: +65-6779-2083.


Using a sample of diversified firms over the period of 1980–2003, I investigate changes in the diversification discount over the two decades. The time-series pattern of the diversification discount is created by the entrance and exit of discount firms. I find that the distribution of excess value can correctly predict the survivalship of a diversified firm. Discount firms are more likely to reverse their diversification within short time period. By contrast, the survival of diversification strategies among premium firms and focused firms is unrelated to the firms' excess values. After accounting for value effects, premium firms perform better than focused firms and discount firms. I interpret the results as evidence that excess value can correctly identify these firms that are successful and unsuccessful in their diversification.