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Does issuing equity help R&D activity? Evidence from unlisted Italian high-tech manufacturing firms

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  • Silvia Magri

Abstract

This paper evaluates the causal effect of issuing equities on the probability that a firm engages in R&D activity. Equity is a better source of external finance than debt for innovation. It does not require collateral, does not exacerbate moral hazard problems connected with the substitution of high-risk for low-risk projects, quite common when using debt, and, unlike debt, does not increase the probability of bankruptcy; equity also allows investors to reap the entire benefit of the returns of successful innovative projects. This paper focuses on high-tech firms for which asymmetric information problems are more pervasive. Implementing an instrumental variable estimation, we find that issuing equity increases the probability that the firm has R&D expenditures by 30-40%. We detect considerable heterogeneity in this effect: the impact of issuing equity is significant only for small, young and more highly leveraged high-tech firms. We also find interesting evidence that issuing equity increases R&D expenditures in relation to sales.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Magri, 2014. "Does issuing equity help R&D activity? Evidence from unlisted Italian high-tech manufacturing firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(8), pages 825-854, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:23:y:2014:i:8:p:825-854
    DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2014.938574
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    Cited by:

    1. HOSONO Kaoru & TAKIZAWA Miho, 2017. "Intangible Capital and the Choice of External Financing Sources," Discussion papers 17080, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Raffaello Bronzini & Gianpaolo Caramellino & Silvia Magri, 2017. "Venture capitalists at work: what are the effects on the firms they finance?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1131, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. repec:eee:tefoso:v:141:y:2019:i:c:p:59-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Paolo Finaldi Russo & Silvia Magri & Cristiana Rampazzi, 2016. "Innovative start-ups in Italy: their special features and the effects of the 2012 law," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 339, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Cantabene, Claudia & grassi, iacopo, 2018. "R&D cooperation in SMEs: the direct effect and the moderating role of human capital," MPRA Paper 87925, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Andrea Bellucci & Ilario Favaretto & Germana Giombini, 2014. "Does Innovation Affect Credit Access? New Empirical Evidence from Italian Small Business Lending," IAW Discussion Papers 104, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).

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