Discussion paper

DP6079 A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Firm's Life Cycle and Mergers as Efficient Reallocation

Any factor that makes acquisition more appealing should increase the number of acquisition that occur. This idea has been captured in standard static models in the literature. However, an increase in the number of acquisitions today means fewer firms exist to perform acquisitions in the future. This dynamic, which we explore, is not well understood. We study a model of mergers motivated by efficient reallocation of projects. A firm may conceive a project that it may not be able to develop successfully. It can be acquired by an established firm that has already proved its ability to develop such projects successfully. We find that, when acquisition costs are low established firms acquire young firms (but not other established firms) in the steady state. More strikingly, if the likelihood of project success decreases for young firms, we find that a higher fraction of young firms attempt to develop their projects rather than to be acquired. This contrasts the previous literature's findings on acquisitions. The explanation for this result is that an increased likelihood of firms' failures causes a shortage of established firms that can then acquire new young firms. Finally, if acquisition costs are moderate we find that established firms acquire other established firms, but not young firms.


Ueda, M and K Frantzeskakis (2007), ‘DP6079 A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Firm's Life Cycle and Mergers as Efficient Reallocation‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 6079. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp6079