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Effects of foreign acquisitions on R&D activity: Evidence from firm-level data for France

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  • Bertrand, Olivier

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal effect of foreign acquisitions on the research and development (R&D) activities of domestic target firms over the period 1994-2004. Using accounting data on French innovative manufacturing firms, we implement appropriate difference-in-difference estimation techniques associated with a matching propensity score procedure. We find that the acquisitions of French firms by foreign companies boost R&D spending. There is a simultaneous rise in the external and in-house R&D expenditures of French acquired firms. R&D is more contracted out to local research providers, in particular to local public laboratories and universities. The increase in internal R&D spending benefits to development, but also basic and applied research. Finally, the growth of the R&D budget is not only financed by internal resources but also receives financing from external partners, especially parent companies. Thus, our results call into question the idea that foreign takeovers hamper the R&D development of target firms and are detrimental to the national innovation system of the host country. First, acquisitions appear to bring efficiency gains enough to counterbalance the various costs of integration and market power effects, pushing firms to invest more in R&D. Acquisitions do not seem to incite managers to take shorter term and more financial driven decisions at the expense of R&D. Second, when motivated by technology sourcing and overseas R&D development, acquisitions might be used to access the specific know-how of target firms and to tap into the knowledge of the national innovation system. Then, purchaser firms could be more likely to develop the innovative capability of target firms and to strengthen their linkages with local partners than to reduce them and relocate R&D abroad.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (July)
Pages: 1021-1031

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:6:p:1021-1031

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

Related research

Keywords: M&A Takeover R&D Innovation;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roger Bandick & Holger Görg & Patrik Karpaty, 2010. "Foreign acquisitions, domestic multinationals, and R&D," Kiel Working Papers 1651, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Tingvall, Patrik & Karpaty, Patrik, 2011. "Offshoring and Home Country R&D," Ratio Working Papers 180, The Ratio Institute.
  3. Richard Fabling & Lynda Sanderson, 2014. "Foreign acquisition and the performance of New Zealand firms," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 1-20, April.
  4. Bertrand, Olivier & Betschinger, Marie-Ann, 2012. "Performance of domestic and cross-border acquisitions: Empirical evidence from Russian acquirers," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 413-437.
  5. Marcela Miozzo & Lori DiVito & Panos Desyllas, 2011. "Cross-border acquisitions of science-based firms: Their effect on innovation in the acquired firm and the local science," DRUID Working Papers 11-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  6. María García-Vega & Patricia Hofmann & Richard Kneller, 2012. "The Internationalisation of R&D and the Knowledge Production Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 3751, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Florian Szücs, 2013. "M&A and R&D: Asymmetric Effects on Acquirers and Targets?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1331, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Walter Park & Ralph Sonenshine, 2012. "Impact of Horizontal Mergers on Research & Development and Patenting: Evidence from Merger Challenges in the U.S," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 143-167, March.
  9. Barge-Gil, Andrés & López, Alberto, 2011. "R versus D: Estimating the differentiated effect of research and development on innovation results," MPRA Paper 29091, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Stiebale, Joel, 2013. "The impact of cross-border mergers and acquisitions on the acquirers' R&D — Firm-level evidence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 307-321.
  11. Fernandes, Cristina & Ferreira, João & Raposo, Mario, 2013. "Drivers to firm innovation and their effects on performance: An international comparison," MPRA Paper 46776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Klaus Gugler & Florian Szücs, 2013. "Merger Externalities in Oligopolistic Markets," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1321, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Stiebale, Joel, 2012. "Cross-Border M&A and Innovative Activity: Firm-Level Evidence," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62027, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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