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Investment, R&D and Financial Constraints in Britain and Germany

  • Stephen BOND
  • Dietmar HARHOFF
  • John VAN REENEN

This paper tests for the importance of cash flow on investment in fixed capital and R&D using firm-level panel data in two countries between 1985 and 1994. For German firms, cash flow is not informative in simple econometric models of fixed investment or R&D. In identical specifications for British firms, cash flow is informative about investment, although not about the level of R&D spending conditional on the R&D participation decision. In the UK, we also find that investment is less sensitive to cash flow for R&D-performing firms, and that cash flow predicts whether firms perform R&D or not. We confirm that these differences do not simply reflect a greater role for current cash flow in forecasting future sales. These results suggest that financial constraints are more significant in Britain, that they affect the decision to engage in R&D rather than the level of R&D spending by participants, and that consequently the British firms that do engage in R&D are a self-selected group where financing constraints tend to be less binding.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20777584
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Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): 79-80 ()
Pages: 433-460

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2005:i:79-80:p:17
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  1. Hall, B. & Mairesse, J. & Branstetter, L. & Crepon, B., 1998. "Does Cash Flow cause Investment and R&D: An Exploration Using Panel Data for French, Japanese, and United States Scientific Firms," Economics Papers 142, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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  11. Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Are There Financing Constraints for R&D and Investment in German Manufacturing Firms?," CIG Working Papers FS IV 97-45, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  12. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Toivanen, Otto & Stoneman, Paul, 1998. "Dynamics of R&D and investment: UK evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 119-126, January.
  18. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1997. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," NBER Working Papers 5996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Stephen Bond & Julie Ann Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Benoît Mulkay, 1999. "Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK : A Comparison using Company Panel Data," Working Papers 99-64, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  30. repec:dgr:uvatin:19990068 is not listed on IDEAS
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