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Credit constraints and the cyclicality of R&D investment: Evidence from France

  • Philippe Aghion

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Philippe Askenazy

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

  • Nicolas Berman

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)

  • Gilbert Cette

    (Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille 2)

  • Laurent Eymard

    (Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)

We use a French firm-level data set containing 13,000 firms over the period 1993-2004 to analyze the relationship between credit constraints and firms' R&D behavior over the business cycle. Our main results can be summarized as follows: (i) the share of R&D investment over total investment is countercyclical without credit constraints, but it becomes less countercyclical as firms face tighter credit constraints; (ii) this result is magnified for firms in sectors that depend more heavily upon external finance, or that are characterized by a low degree of asset tangibility ; (iii) in more credit constrained firms, R&D investment share plummets during recessions but does not increase proportionally during upturns; (iv) average R&D investment and productivity growth are more negatively correlated with sales volatility in more credit constrained firms.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586744
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  1. Bean, C., 1989. "Endogenous Growth And The Procyclical Behaviour Of Productivity," Papers 369, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  2. Philippe Aghion & George-Marios Angeletos & Abhijit Banerjee & Kalina Manova, 2005. "Volatility and Growth: Credit Constraints and Productivity-Enhancing Investment," NBER Working Papers 11349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1998. "VIRTUES OF BAD TIMES Interaction Between Productivity Growth and Economic Fluctuations," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 322-344, September.
  5. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2003. "Medium Term Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 10003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Patrick Francois & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 2003. "Animal Spirits Through Creative Destruction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 530-550, June.
  7. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  8. Benoît Mulkay & Bronwyn H, Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 2000. "Firm Level Investment and R&D in France and the United States : A Comparison," Working Papers 2000-49, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 1991. "Labor Demand, Labor Supply, and Employment Volatility," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 17-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bronwyn Hall & Benoit Mulkay and Jacques Mairesse, 2001. "Firm Level Investment and R and D in France and the United States: A Comparison," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1993. "The Stock Market's Valuation of R&D Investment during the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 259-64, May.
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