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Innovation and firm growth: Does firm age play a role?

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  • Coad, Alex
  • Segarra, Agustí
  • Teruel, Mercedes

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between innovation and firm growth for firms of different ages. We hypothesize that young firms undertake riskier innovation activities which may have greater performance benefits (if successful), or greater losses (if unsuccessful). Using an extensive Spanish Community Innovation Survey sample for the period 2004–2012, we apply panel quantile regressions to study the effect of R&D activities on firm growth (i.e. sales growth, productivity growth and employment growth). Our results show that young firms face larger performance benefits from R&D at the upper quantiles of the growth rate distribution, but face larger decline at the lower quantiles. R&D investment by young firms therefore appears to significantly riskier than R&D investment by more mature firms, which suggests some policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2016. "Innovation and firm growth: Does firm age play a role?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 387-400.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:2:p:387-400
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.10.015
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    Keywords

    Firm age; Firm growth; Innovation; Panel quantile regression; Scale-up; Post-entry growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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