R. (Renee) Spigt MSc

Renee Spigt
Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Finance & Accounting
Affiliated since 2019

PhD Track Corporate Acquisition Behaviour

Consistent with neo-classical rational theory, prior studies show that mergers are driven by rational expectations of growth options, synergies or reallocation of assets in a response to industry shocks. The rational view includes real options models, (e.g., Smit and Trigeorgis 2004) as valuable growth opportunities.

Contrary to rational theory, behavioral views offer alternative explanations for the drivers of mergers and acquisitions (Baker et al. 2007). First, decision makers - the bidders’ CEOs and management teams - may act irrational. CEOs may suffer from overconfidence and over-optimism (Roll 1986), and managers may use their discretion to overinvest (Malmendier and Tate 2005). Second, financial market overvaluation may drive mergers.

This proposal attempts to extend the boundaries of real options analysis to environments where rivals have biases in their decision-making (as in Smit and Moraitis 2009; Smit and Lovallo 2014). In other words rationally anticipate on an irrational environment. This proposal contributes to this field by developing at least 3 papers of publishable quality on acquisitions; more specifically; divestment decisions; serial acquisitions and a panel study on the prevalence of biases using on acquisition database.

Real Options, Merger Waves, Behavioural Finance
Time frame
2019 -


Visiting address

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam