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Business Cycles and Investment in Productivity-Enhancing Activities: Evidence from Spanish Firms

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  • Paloma López-García
  • José Manuel Montero
  • Enrique Moral-Benito

Abstract

This paper tests the opportunity-cost theory on the long-run effects of business cycles using a panel of Spanish firms during the period 1991--2010. Under this theory, the share of productivity-enhancing activities (PEAs), such as R&D investment or on-the-job training, relative to production activities should increase during downturns because of the fall in their relative cost -- in terms of forgone output. This would imply that business cycles may have a (positive) long-term impact on firms' productivity growth. In the spirit of Aghion et al. (2008), we allow the impact of the cycle on PEA to vary between firms with different access to external funding. We find that, in accordance with the opportunity-cost approach, the share of R&D investment and training expenditures on total investment outlays follow a countercyclical pattern, which in the case of R&D may be reversed by the presence of credit constraints. However, the share of investment in other non-R&D-related intangible investments is found to be acyclical, which could suggest some kind of substitution across different PEAs over the cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Paloma López-García & José Manuel Montero & Enrique Moral-Benito, 2013. "Business Cycles and Investment in Productivity-Enhancing Activities: Evidence from Spanish Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 611-636, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:20:y:2013:i:7:p:611-636
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2013.849456
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hernando, Ignacio & Martínez-Carrascal, Carmen, 2008. "The impact of financial variables on firms' real decisions: Evidence from Spanish firm-level data," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 543-561, March.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Askenazy & Nicolas Berman & Gilbert Cette & Laurent Eymard, 2012. "Credit Constraints And The Cyclicality Of R&D Investment: Evidence From France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1001-1024, October.
    3. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Financing of R&D and Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 609-639, Elsevier.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Askenazy & Nicolas Berman & Gilbert Cette & Laurent Eymard, 2008. "Credit constraints and the cyclicality of R&D investment: Evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586744, HAL.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Askenazy & Nicolas Berman & Gilbert Cette & Laurent Eymard, 2012. "Credit Constraints And The Cyclicality Of R&D Investment: Evidence From France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1001-1024, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Álvarez-Ayuso, Inmaculada C. & Kao, Chihwa & Romero-Jordán, Desiderio, 2018. "Long run effect of public grants and tax credits on R&D investment: A non-stationary panel data approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 93-104.
    2. Gabriele Pellegrino, 2015. "Barriers to Innovation: Can Firm Age Help Lower Them?," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-33, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    3. Armand, Alex & Mendi, Pedro, 2018. "Demand drops and innovation investments: Evidence from the Great Recession in Spain," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(7), pages 1321-1333.
    4. repec:oup:cambje:v:41:y:2017:i:4:p:1087-1122. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. José García-Quevedo & Gabriele Pellegrino & Maria Savona, 2017. "Reviving demand-pull perspectives: The effect of demand uncertainty and stagnancy on R&D strategy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 1087-1122.
    6. Grimpe, Christoph & Sofka, Wolfgang & Schulz, Philipp & Borchhardt, Geoffrey Thilo, 2019. "Markets for technology in Europe: Mapping demand and its drivers," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-043, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. Dietz, Daniel & Zwick, Thomas, 2018. "Training in the Great Recession: Evidence from an individual perspective," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-037, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Giebel, Marek & Kraft, Kornelius, 2018. "Bank credit supply and firm innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-011, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    9. Zavadska Diana, 2018. "Research of banks participation in crediting the needs of innovative development of industry in Ukraine," Technology audit and production reserves, 6(44) 2018, Socionet;Technology audit and production reserves, vol. 6(5(44)), pages 41-54.
    10. Isabel Busom & Beatriz Corchuelo & Ester Martínez-Ros, 2017. "Participation inertia in R&D tax incentive and subsidy programs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 153-177, January.
    11. Barajas, Ascensión & Huergo, Elena & Moreno, Lourdes, 2017. "Public Support to Business R&D and the Economic Crisis: Spanish Evidence," MPRA Paper 81529, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Lee, Daeyong, 2018. "Impact of the excise tax on firm R&D and performance in the medical device industry: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 854-871.
    13. Knudsen, Eirik Sjåholm, 2019. "Bad weather ahead: Pre-recession characteristics and the severity of recession impact," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 118-130.
    14. Giebel, Marek & Kraft, Kornelius, 2017. "External financing constraints and firm's innovative activities during the financial crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-064, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    15. Zeynep Kabukcuoglu, 2019. "The cyclical behavior of R&D investment during the Great Recession," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 301-323, January.
    16. José García-Quevedo & Gabriele Pellegrino & Maria Savona, 2017. "Reviving demand-pull perspectives: The effect of demand uncertainty and stagnancy on R&D strategy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 1087-1122.
    17. Maria Garcia-Vega & Oscar Vicente-Chirivella, 2019. "R&D and firm resilience during bad times," Discussion Papers 2019-13, University of Nottingham, GEP.

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