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

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  • Stephen Bond
  • Dietmar Harhoff
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 2005. "Investment, R&D and Financial Constraints in Britain and Germany," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 79-80, pages 433-460.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2005:i:79-80:p:433-460
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    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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