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Does internal finance matter for R&D? New evidence from a panel of Italian firms

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  • Elisa Ughetto

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between finance and R&D for a panel of more than 1000 Italian manufacturing firms. While Italian firms obtain a significant share of their financing from debt, the results from a unique survey show that firms use virtually no debt to finance R&D. Because Italian firms typically do not receive external equity, the obvious source of innovation financing is internal cash flow. The sensitivity of capital investment to cash flow for small and medium-large firms is estimated, testing for the presence of informational frictions in the credit market for companies performing R&D activities. A GMM method that controls for unobserved firm-specific effects and endogenous explanatory variables is used. Cash flow plays an important role in explaining capital investment, especially for small firms. Interestingly, when the measure of firms' innovative activities is considered, significant differences are found between the sub-samples of small and medium-large firms. While small innovative firms are subject to relevant financing constraints, larger companies investing in R&D have easier access to external financing. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisa Ughetto, 2008. "Does internal finance matter for R&D? New evidence from a panel of Italian firms," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(6), pages 907-925, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:32:y:2008:i:6:p:907-925
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/ben015
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    Cited by:

    1. Bakker, Gerben, 2013. "Money for nothing: How firms have financed R&D-projects since the Industrial Revolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1793-1814.
    2. Giannetti, Caterina, 2012. "Relationship lending and firm innovativeness," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 762-781.
    3. Paul, Justin & Parthasarathy, Sundar & Gupta, Parul, 2017. "Exporting challenges of SMEs: A review and future research agenda," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 327-342.
    4. Hiona Balfoussia & Heather D. Gibson, 2016. "Firm investment and financial conditions in the euro area: evidence from firm-level data," Working Papers 208, Bank of Greece.
    5. Peter Egger & Christian Keuschnigg, 2015. "Innovation, Trade, and Finance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 121-157, May.
    6. repec:jes:journl:y:2017:v:8:p:25-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Giovanni Cerulli & Bianca Poti', 2016. "Explaining firm sensitivity to R&D subsidies within a dose-response model: The role of financial constraints, real cost of investment, and strategic value of R&D," DEM Working Papers 2016/09, Department of Economics and Management.
    8. Paola Brighi & Roberto Patuelli & Giuseppe Torluccio, 2012. "Self-Financing of Traditional and R&D Investments: Evidence from Italian SMEs," Working Paper series 61_12, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    9. Georgios Efthyvoulou & Priit Vahter, 2016. "Financial Constraints, Innovation Performance and Sectoral Disaggregation," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(2), pages 125-158, March.
    10. Driver, Ciaran & Guedes, Maria João Coelho, 2012. "Research and development, cash flow, agency and governance: UK large companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1565-1577.
    11. Frederico Roch, 2014. "Does Governmental Support To Innovation Have Positive Effect On R&D Investments? Evidence From Brazil," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41st Brazilian Economics Meeting] 165, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    12. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:228-242 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ughetto, Elisa, 2010. "Assessing the contribution to innovation of private equity investors: A study on European buyouts," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 126-140, February.
    14. Sasidharan, Subash & Jijo Lukose, P.J. & Komera, Surenderrao, 2015. "Financing constraints and investments in R&D: Evidence from Indian manufacturing firms," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 28-39.
    15. Succurro, Marianna, 2014. "Intangible assets finance: a complementary or substitution effect between external and internal channels? Evidence from the Italian divide," MPRA Paper 57247, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. repec:eee:rensus:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:813-823 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Pham, Tho & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2018. "Discrimination, Social Capital, and Financial Constraints: The Case of Viet Nam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 228-242.
    18. Christian Keuschnigg & Evelyn Ribi, 2010. "Business Taxation, Corporate Finance and Economic Performance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-04, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    19. Giacinto Micucci & Paola Rossi, 2017. "Financing R&D investments: an analysis on Italian manufacturing firms and their lending banks," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, March.

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