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Patents, firm size and financial constraints: an empirical analysis for a panel of Italian manufacturing firms


  • Giuseppe Scellato


The paper empirically investigates the issue of financial constraints to investment, focusing on its relationship with innovation activities. The study is based on the analysis of a cross-industries panel of 804 Italian companies, observed through the years 1995--2000. The main objective of the study is to highlight whether there are financial determinants underlying the strong bias of patenting activity towards larger companies in the Italian economy. By applying a dynamic panel analysis, we found that only the firms showing lower financial constraints are able to keep a sustained patenting profile through time. Our evidence suggests the existence of an imperfect capital market in the Italian economy, particularly in the case of medium-sized companies, which tend to delay inefficiently the start of in-house R&D activities. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Scellato, 2007. "Patents, firm size and financial constraints: an empirical analysis for a panel of Italian manufacturing firms," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 55-76, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:31:y:2007:i:1:p:55-76

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Coad, Alex, 2010. "Neoclassical vs evolutionary theories of financial constraints: Critique and prospectus," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 206-218, August.
    2. Jürgen Antony & Torben Klarl & Alfred Maußner, 2012. "Firm heterogeneity, credit constraints, and endogenous growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 105(3), pages 199-224, April.
    3. José Ángel Zúñiga-Vicente & César Alonso-Borrego & Francisco J. Forcadell & José I. Galán, 2014. "Assessing The Effect Of Public Subsidies On Firm R&D Investment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 36-67, February.
    4. repec:eee:tefoso:v:127:y:2018:i:c:p:154-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cristiano Antonelli & Giuseppe Scellato, 2011. "Out-of-equilibrium profit and innovation," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(5), pages 405-421.
    6. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2012. "Measuring Firms' Financial Constraints: A Rough Guide," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 36, pages 23-46, December.
    7. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2012. "Do financial constraints threat the innovation process? Evidence from Portuguese firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(8), pages 701-736, November.
    8. Hans Lööf & Pardis Nabavi, 2016. "Innovation and credit constraints: evidence from Swedish exporting firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 269-282, April.
    9. Cristiano Antonelli & Giuseppe Scellato, 2015. "Firms size and directed technological change," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 207-218, January.
    10. Grazzi, Marco & Sanzo, Roberto & Secchi, Angelo & Zeli, Alessandro, 2013. "The building process of a new integrated system of business micro-data 1989–2004," Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, IOS Press, issue 4, pages 291-324.
    11. Lööf, Hans & Nabavi , Pardis, 2014. "How to Persistently Finance Innovation: A Panel-Data Study on Exporting Firms in Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 346, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    12. Georgios Efthyvoulou & Priit Vahter, 2016. "Financial Constraints, Innovation Performance and Sectoral Disaggregation," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(2), pages 125-158, March.
    13. Francesco Crespi & Giuseppe Scellato, 2010. "Ownership Structure, Internal Financing And Investment Dynamics," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(3), pages 242-258, June.
    14. Elisa Ughetto & Andrea Vezzulli, 2011. "What role can mutual guarantee consortia play for financing innovation? A firm-level study for Italy," International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 294-319.
    15. Russell Thomson & Elizabeth Webster, 2011. "External Ventures: Why Firms Don't Develop All Their Inventions In-house," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    16. Alessandra Tognazzo & Federica Destro & Paolo Gubitta, 2012. "Patenting in family firms," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0155, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    17. Dosi, Giovanni & Grazzi, Marco & Moschella, Daniele, 2015. "Technology and costs in international competitiveness: From countries and sectors to firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1795-1814.
    18. Martin Andersson & Hans Lööf, 2012. "Small business innovation: firm level evidence from Sweden," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(5), pages 732-754, October.
    19. Buzzacchi, Luigi & Scellato, Giuseppe & Ughetto, Elisa, 2013. "The investment strategies of publicly sponsored venture capital funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 707-716.

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