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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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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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  1. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  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. Michael Binder & Cheng Hsiao & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "Estimation and Inference In Short Panel Vector Autoregressions with Unit Roots And Cointegration," CESifo Working Paper Series 374, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Alex Coad & Rekha Rao, 2006. "Innovation and Firm Growth in High-Tech Sectors: A Quantile Regression Approach," LEM Papers Series 2006/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  8. Dominique Guellec & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2000. "The Impact of Public R&D Expenditure on Business R&D," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/4, OECD Publishing.
  9. Paul A. David & Bronwyn H. Hall & Andrew A. Toole, 2005. "Is Public R&D a Complement or Substitute for Private R&D? A Review of the Econometric Evidence," Development and Comp Systems 0502011, EconWPA.
  10. 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).
  11. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 2000. "The determinants of pharmaceutical research and development expenditures," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 201-215.
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  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
  17. Giulio Bottazzi & Alex Coad & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Corporate Growth and Industrial Dynamics: Evidence from French Manufacturing," LEM Papers Series 2005/21, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  18. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "The Growth of Firms in Theory and in Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  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. 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.
  23. Alex Coad, 2007. "Exploring the "mechanics" of firm growth : evidence from a short-panel VAR," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r07037, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  24. 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.
  25. George Symeonidis, 1996. "Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 161, OECD Publishing.
  26. 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.
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