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R&D, Corporate Governance and Profitability of Firms – a literature review


  • Wiberg, Daniel

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)


This paper aims to provide a summarize review of recent empirical research, in the field of corporate governance and its relation to performance of firms. Specifically, the focus is on the role of institutional owners in the conflict between controlling shareholders and minority owners. The paper also contributes to the literature on corporate governance and performance by providing some discussion on the statistical methods used in most empirical investigations. Summing up recent studies in the evaluation of firms’ investment performance has shown significant differences in the valuation of firms, depending on the market expectations and industry affiliation. Focusing on the role of institutional owners in relation to firms’ investment performance, the existing empirical evidence suggest that institutional owners have a positive influence on firms’ investment performance. Studies that looks at the role of institutional owners from the perspective of dividend policy has shown that institutional owners demand higher dividends to compensate for aggravated agency conflicts due to vote-differentiated shares. A large body of research investigates the performance of firms from a long run perspective. These studies demonstrate that profits converge over time, but the convergence is incomplete. Investment in R&D is often put forward as an explanation for persistent profits above the norm. Looking at individual mutual funds, and specifically how to measure risk-adjusted performance, investigations generally show that mutual funds underperform in relation to their market benchmark, even when risk-adjusted to the same level of risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiberg, Daniel, 2009. "R&D, Corporate Governance and Profitability of Firms – a literature review," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 197, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0197

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philip McCann, 2007. "Globalization and economic geography: the world is curved, not flat," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(3), pages 351-370.
    2. Edward Glaeser & Janet Kohlhase, 2003. "Cities, regions and the decline of transport costs," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 197-228, October.
    3. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
    4. William Gould, 1993. "Quantile regression with bootstrapped standard errors," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(9).
    5. Börje Johansson & Johan Klaesson & Michael Olsson, 2002. "Time distances and labor market integration," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 81(3), pages 305-327.
    6. Sterlacchini, Alessandro, 1999. "Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non-R&D-intensive industries? An application to export performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 819-832, November.
    7. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
    8. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
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    More about this item


    Corporate Governance; Investment Performance; Investment; nstitutions;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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