IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Money for nothing: how firms have financed R&D-projects since the Industrial Revolution

  • Gerben Bakker

We investigate the long-run historical pattern of R&D-outlays by reviewing aggregate growth rates and historical cases of particular R&D projects, following the historical-institutional approach of Alfred Chandler (1962), Douglass North (1981) and Oliver Williamson (1985). We find that even the earliest R&D-projects used non-insignificant cash outlays and that until the 1970s aggregate R&D outlays grew far faster than GDP, despite five well-known challenges that implied that R&D could only be financed with cash, for which no perfect market existed: the presence of sunk costs, real uncertainty, long time lags, adverse selection, and moral hazard. We then review a wide variety of organisational forms and institutional instruments that firms historically have used to overcome these financing obstacles, and without which the enormous growth of R&D outlays since the nineteenth century would not have been possible.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54518/
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 54518.

as
in new window

Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:54518
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Meulbroek, Lisa K, et al, 1990. "Shark Repellents and Managerial Myopia: An Empirical Test," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1108-17, October.
  2. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, June.
  3. Triantis, George G, 2000. "Financial Slack Policy and the Laws of Secured Transactions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 35-69, January.
  4. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Financial constraints and innovation: Why poor countries don't catchup," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 341, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Holmström, Bengt, 1989. "Agency Costs and Innovation," Working Paper Series 214, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
  7. Freeman, Chris & Louca, Francisco, 2001. "As Time Goes By: From the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241071, March.
  8. Baruch Lev, 1999. "R&D And Capital Markets," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 11(4), pages 21-35.
  9. Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "The Value and Performance of U.S. Corporations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 1-50.
  10. Schroth, Enrique & Szalay, Dezsö, 2008. "Cash Breeds Success : The Role of Financing Constraints in Patent Races," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 873, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  11. Christine Macleod, 1999. "Negotiating the Rewards of Invention: The Shop-Floor Inventor in Victorian Britain," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 17-36.
  12. Munari, Federico & Oriani, Raffaele & Sobrero, Maurizio, 2010. "The effects of owner identity and external governance systems on R&D investments: A study of Western European firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1093-1104, October.
  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  14. David C. Mowery, 2009. "Plus ca change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 1-50, February.
  15. Liam Brunt & Josh Lerner & Tom Nicholas, 2012. "Inducement Prizes and Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 657-696, December.
  16. Brown, James R. & Petersen, Bruce C., 2009. "Why has the investment-cash flow sensitivity declined so sharply? Rising R&D and equity market developments," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 971-984, May.
  17. Hayes, Peter, 1987. "Carl Bosch and Carl Krauch: Chemistry and the Political Economy of Germany, 1925–1945," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(02), pages 353-363, June.
  18. Tylecote, Andrew & Ramirez, Paulina, 2006. "Corporate governance and innovation: The UK compared with the US and 'insider' economies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 160-180, February.
  19. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1989. "Agency costs and innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 305-327, December.
  20. Carter Bloch, 2005. "R&D investment and internal finance: the cash flow effect," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 213-223.
  21. O'Sullivan, Mary, 2000. "The Innovative Enterprise and Corporate Governance," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 393-416, July.
  22. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, March.
  23. Beatty, Anne & Berger, Philip G. & Magliolo, Joseph, 1995. "Motives for forming research & development financing organizations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 411-442, April.
  24. Lev, Baruch & Sougiannis, Theodore, 1996. "The capitalization, amortization, and value-relevance of R&D," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 107-138, February.
  25. 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.
  26. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 2000. "The determinants of pharmaceutical research and development expenditures," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 201-215.
  27. Hall, Bronwyn H., 2002. "The Financing of Research and Development," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt34c1c643, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  28. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, 02.
  29. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  30. Cassiman, Bruno & Colombo, Massimo G. & Garrone, Paola & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2005. "The impact of M&A on the R&D process: An empirical analysis of the role of technological- and market-relatedness," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 195-220, March.
  31. Himmelberg, Charles P & Petersen, Bruce C, 1994. "R&D and Internal Finance: A Panel Study of Small Firms in High-Tech Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 38-51, February.
  32. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521687850 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Jeffrey L. Furman & Megan MacGarvie, 2007. "Academic Science and the Birth of Industrial Research Laboratories in the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry," NBER Chapters, in: Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  35. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  36. Nicholas, Tom, 2003. "Why Schumpeter was Right: Innovation, Market Power, and Creative Destruction in 1920s America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(04), pages 1023-1058, December.
  37. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  38. Hartmann, Marcus & Hassan, Ali, 2006. "Application of real options analysis for pharmaceutical R&D project valuation--Empirical results from a survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 343-354, April.
  39. Brunt, Liam, 2006. "Rediscovering Risk: Country Banks as Venture Capital Firms in the First Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(01), pages 74-102, March.
  40. Fried, Jesse M. & Ganor, Mira, 2006. "Agency Costs of Venture Capitalist Control in Startups," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5rz3w67b, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  41. Nicholas, Tom, 2010. "The Role of Independent Invention in U.S. Technological Development, 1880–1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(01), pages 57-82, March.
  42. Kuemmerle, Walter, 1999. "Foreign direct investment in industrial research in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries--results from a survey of multinational firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 179-193, March.
  43. Un, C. Annique & Cuervo-Cazurra, Alvaro, 2008. "Do subsidiaries of foreign MNEs invest more in R&D than domestic firms?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1812-1828, December.
  44. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521868273 is not listed on IDEAS
  46. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521293853 is not listed on IDEAS
  47. Mansfield, Edwin, 1998. "Academic research and industrial innovation: An update of empirical findings1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 773-776, April.
  48. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  49. D.E.H. Edgerton & S.M. Horrocks, 1994. "British industrial research and development before 1945," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(2), pages 213-238, 05.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:54518. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager on behalf of EH Dept.)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.