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Inverted-U relationship between R&D intensity and survival: evidence on scale and complementarity effects in UK data

Listed author(s):
  • Ugur, Mehmet
  • Trushin, Eshref
  • Solomon, Edna

Existing evidence on the relationship between R&D intensity and firm survival is varied and often conflicting. We argue that this may be due to overlooking R&D scale effects and complementarity between R&D intensity and market concentration. Drawing on Schumpeterian models of competition and innovation, we address these issues by developing a formal model of firm survival and using a panel dataset of 37,930 of R&D-active UK firms over 1998–2012. We report the following findings: (i) the relationship between R&D intensity and firm survival follows an inverted-U pattern that reflects diminishing scale effects; (ii) R&D intensity and market concentration are complements in that R&D-active firms have longer survival time if they are in more concentrated industries; and (iii) creative destruction as proxied by median R&D intensity in the industry and the premium on business lending have negative effects on firm survival. Other findings concerning age, size, productivity, relative growth, Pavitt technology classes and the macroeconomic environment are in line with the existing literature. The results are strongly or moderately robust to different samples, stepwise estimations, and controls for frailty and left truncation

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Paper provided by University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre in its series Greenwich Papers in Political Economy with number 15510.

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Date of creation: 10 May 2016
Publication status: Published in Research Policy 7.45(2016): pp. 1474-1492
Handle: RePEc:gpe:wpaper:15510
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