Brakman, Steven Garretsen, Harry Gerritse, Michiel van Marrewijk, Charles
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper No. 7083
In contrast to empirical evidence, recent theories of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) assume perfect knowledge transfers – from high to low productivity firms – between acquirer and target. Using the Melitz (2003) model of heterogeneous firms, we develop a matching model of cross-border M&As which allows for both perfect and imperfect knowledge transfers, where the latter leads to assortative matching on productivity for firms in cross-border M&As. This is in line with stylized facts (because M&As frequently occur between firms of similar productivity) and in contrast to the proximity-concentration trade-off (in which only the most productive firms have a physical presence in foreign markets). Allowing for M&As raises the firm viability cut-off level, average productivity and welfare in our model. The welfare benefits are weaker for more imperfect knowledge transfers.