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Firm growth and R&D expenditure

  • Alex Coad
  • Rekha Rao

We apply a panel vector autoregression model to a firm-level longitudinal database to observe the co-evolution of sales growth, employment growth, profits growth and the growth of research and development (R&D) expenditure. Contrary to expectations, profit growth seems to have little detectable association with subsequent R&D investment. Instead, firms appear to increase their total R&D expenditure following growth in sales and employment. In a sense, firms behave 'as if' they aim for a roughly constant ratio of R&D to employment (or sales). We observe heterogeneous effects for growing or shrinking firms, however, suggesting that firms are less willing to reduce their R&D levels following a negative growth shock than they are willing to increase R&D after a positive shock.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10438590802472531
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 127-145

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:127-145
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 2000. "The determinants of pharmaceutical research and development expenditures," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 201-215.
  2. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 2000. "Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 497-529, April.
  3. Binder, M. & Hsaio, C. & Pesaran, M.H., 2000. "Estimation and Inference in Short Panel Vector Autoregressions with Unit Roots and Cointegration," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0003, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Alex Coad, 2006. "A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation," LEM Papers Series 2006/29, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Coad, Alex & Rao, Rekha, 2008. "Innovation and firm growth in high-tech sectors: A quantile regression approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 633-648, May.
  6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  8. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Common Properties and Sectoral Specificities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 217-232, December.
  9. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215.
  10. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2006:i:13:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "The Growth of Firms in Theory and in Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, June.
  13. Alex Coad, 2007. "Neoclassical vs evolutionary theories of financial constraints : critique and prospectus," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r07008, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  14. Hall, Bronwyn & Van Reenen, John, 2000. "How effective are fiscal incentives for R&D? A review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 449-469, April.
  15. George Symeonidis, 1996. "Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 161, OECD Publishing.
  16. Alex Coad, 2007. "Exploring the "mechanics" of firm growth : evidence from a short-panel VAR," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00175048, HAL.
  17. Giulio Bottazzi & Alex Coad & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi, 2011. "Corporate Growth and Industrial Dynamics: Evidence from French Manufacturing," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00642688, HAL.
  18. Holger Gorg & Eric Strobl, 2007. "The Effect of R&D Subsidies on Private R&D," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 215-234, 05.
  19. Alessio Moneta, 2005. "Causality in macroeconometrics: some considerations about reductionism and realism," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 433-453.
  20. Joao Pedro Azevedo, 2004. "GRQREG: Stata module to graph the coefficients of a quantile regression," Statistical Software Components S437001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 17 Mar 2011.
  21. Delmar, Frederic & Davidsson, Per & Gartner, William B., 2003. "Arriving at the high-growth firm," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 189-216, March.
  22. Alex Coad, 2005. "Testing the Principle of "Growth of the Fitter": The Relationship between Profits and Firm Growth," Emory Economics 0531, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  23. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie, 2003. "The impact of public R&D expenditure on business R&D," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 225-243.
  24. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 101-115, Fall.
  25. Spiros Bougheas & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Is R & D Financially Constrained? Theory and Evidence from Irish Manufacturing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 159-174, March.
  26. U. Witt & C. Zellner, 2005. "Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship: The Organizational Side of Technology Commercialization," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
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