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The effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on innovation

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  • Waters, James
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    Abstract

    This paper adds to the literature on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's net effects by looking at whether its passage was associated with a change in innovation and patenting. Its effects are separated into temporary uncertainty and changes in long term investment incentives in a dynamic programming problem faced by innovators who learn over time about SOX's effect. Innovation is found to fall under uncertainty for potential losses that are low relative to the potential profits. As companies learn, innovation rates readjust to SOX's long term persistent effect. We examine US patenting in stem cell technologies from 2001 to 2009 for SOX related changes. To reduce the dependence of our estimates on timing assumptions, we look for changes over the whole period. We firstly use a rolling break test with a single break point with Monte Carlo correction to p-values for search process endogeneity and MLE bias. Secondly, we run a hidden Markov model allowing for multiple states in the patent process and transitions between the states. We find a large and statistically significant change at a date consistent with a SOX effect under both testing methods. A three state hidden Markov model finds subsequent correction consistent with the theoretical model. Four competing explanations are found to account incompletely for the observed data.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28072.

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    Date of creation: 11 Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28072

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    Keywords: Sarbanes-Oxley; investment; innovation; patents;

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    1. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-44, March.
    2. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Frank Windmeijer, 1999. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W99/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
    4. Leuz, Christian & Triantis, Alexander & Yue Wang, Tracy, 2008. "Why do firms go dark? Causes and economic consequences of voluntary SEC deregistrations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 181-208, August.
    5. Engel, Ellen & Hayes, Rachel M. & Wang, Xue, 2007. "The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and firms' going-private decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 116-145, September.
    6. Hollis Ashbaugh-Skaife & Daniel W. Collins & William R. Kinney Jr & Ryan Lafond, 2009. "The Effect of SOX Internal Control Deficiencies on Firm Risk and Cost of Equity," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-43, 03.
    7. Wintoki, M. Babajide, 2007. "Corporate boards and regulation: The effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the exchange listing requirements on firm value," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 229-250, June.
    8. Szabolcs Blazsek & Alvaro Escribano, 2009. "Knowledge spillovers in U.S. patents: a dynamic patent intensity model with secret common innovation factors," Economics Working Papers we098951, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    9. James S. Linck & Jeffry M. Netter & Tina Yang, 2009. "The Effects and Unintended Consequences of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on the Supply and Demand for Directors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(8), pages 3287-3328, August.
    10. Bargeron, Leonce L. & Lehn, Kenneth M. & Zutter, Chad J., 2010. "Sarbanes-Oxley and corporate risk-taking," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 34-52, February.
    11. Feng Gao & Joanna Shuang Wu & Jerold Zimmerman, 2009. "Unintended Consequences of Granting Small Firms Exemptions from Securities Regulation: Evidence from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 459-506, 05.
    12. Kang, Qiang & Liu, Qiao & Qi, Rong, 2010. "The Sarbanes-Oxley act and corporate investment: A structural assessment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 291-305, May.
    13. Guo, Xin & Miao, Jianjun & Morellec, Erwan, 2005. "Irreversible investment with regime shifts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 37-59, May.
    14. Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A, 1986. "Patents and R and D: Is There a Lag?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 265-83, June.
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