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A Model of R&D Capitalization

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  • Gamal Atallah

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa)

Abstract

The paper studies the decision of firms to expense or capitalize R&D. In a two-period model, a monopolist decides on how much to invest in R&D and how much of that investment to capitalize, and then on each period's output. It is found that the firm has an incentive to mismatch the benefits and costs of R&D, expensing a larger portion of R&D when the benefits occur mainly in the long run, and capitalizing a larger portion when the benefits occur mainly in the short run. Smaller firms are more likely to expense a larger portion of their R&D expenditures. A faster reaction of markets to the accounting policy reduces expensing. An increase in the discount factor, although having a negative direct effect on expensing, has a net ambiguous effect, because of its effect on R&D. Given that R&D is endogenous to the model, the effects of these changes on innovation and their interactions with expensing are also derived. One major result of the model is that there is strategic substitutability berween R&D and expensing. It is argued that accounting standards, market evaluation of capitalization, and firms' accounting policies can have real effects on innovation. Overall, the model suggests that looser accounting standards, and a less conservative market evaluation of capitalization, can favor innovation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0501E.

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Length: ; 14 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:0501e

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Keywords: R&D; Innovation; Expensing; Capitalization; Accounting standards;

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References

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  1. Ekholm, Karolina & Torstensson, Johan, 1996. "High-Technology Subsidies in General Equilibrium: A Sector-Specific Approach," Working Paper Series 467, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Benoit Mulkay & Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 2000. "Firm Level Investment and R&D in France and the United States: A Comparison," NBER Working Papers 8038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Minoru Kitahara & Toshihiro Matsumura, 2006. "Realized Cost-Based Subsidies For Strategic R&D Investments With "Ex Ante" And "Ex Post" Asymmetries," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 438-448.
  4. Petrakis, Emmanuel & Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna, 2002. "R&D Subsidies versus R&D Cooperation in a Duopoly with Spillovers and Pollution," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-52, March.
  5. Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna, 1998. "R&D Competition in a Mixed Duopoly under Uncertainty and Easy Imitation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 415-428, September.
  6. Yuan, DING & Gary, ENTWISTLE & Hervé, STOLOWY, 2003. "International differences in R&D disclosure practices : evidence in a French and Canadian context," Les Cahiers de Recherche 783, HEC Paris.
  7. Isabel Busom, 2000. "An Empirical Evaluation of The Effects of R&D Subsidies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 111-148.
  8. Miyagiwa, Kaz & Ohno, Yuka, 2002. "Uncertainty, spillovers, and cooperative R&D," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 855-876, June.
  9. Lakdawalla, Darius & Sood, Neeraj, 2004. "Social insurance and the design of innovation incentives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 57-61, October.
  10. Cazavan-Jeny , Anne & Jeanjean, Thomas, 2003. "Value Relevance of R&D Reporting : A Signaling Interpretation," ESSEC Working Papers DR 03021, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  11. Klette, T.J. & Moen, J. & Griliches, Z., 1999. "Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures? Microeconometric Evaluation Studies," Papers 16/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  12. Stephen Martin & John T. Scott, 1999. "The Nature of Innovation Market Failure and the Design of Public Support for Private Innovation," CIE Discussion Papers 1999-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  13. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 1999. "Does government support stimulates private R&D," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6231, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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