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Investment, R&D and financial constraints in Britain and Germany

  • Steve Bond

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Dietmar Harhoff
  • John Van Reenen

This paper tests for the importance of cash flow on investment in fixed capital and R&D using firm-level panel data in two countries between 1985 and 1994. For German firms, cash flow is not informative in simple econometric models of fixed investment or R&D. In identical pecifications for British firms, cash flow is informative about investment, although not about the level of R&D spending conditional on the R&D participation decision. In the UK, we also find that investment is less sensitive to cash flow for R&D-performing firms, and that cash flow predicts whether firms perform R&D or not. We confirm that these differences do not simply reflect a greater role for current cash flow in forecasting future sales. These results suggest that financial constraints are more significant in Britain, that they affect the decision to engage in R&D rather than the level of R&D spending by participants, and that consequently the British firms that do engage in R&D are a self-selected group where financing constraints tend to be less binding.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp9905.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W99/05.

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Length: 55 pp.
Date of creation: Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:99/05
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
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  4. Michael Devereux & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1990. "Investment, Financial Factors, and Cash Flow: Evidence from U.K. Panel Data," NBER Chapters, in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 279-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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  14. repec:dgr:uvatin:19990068 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Dietmar HARHOFF, 1998. "Are there Financing Constraints for R&D and Investment in German Manufacturing Firms," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 421-456.
  16. Lach, Saul & Schankerman, Mark, 1989. "Dynamics of R&D and Investment in the Scientific Sector," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 880-904, August.
  17. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
  18. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Lee Branstetter & Bruno Crepon, 1999. "Does Cash Flow Cause Investment and R&D: An Exploration Using Panel Data for French, Japanese, and United States Scientific Firms," Finance 9902005, EconWPA.
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  22. Naercio Menezes-Filho & David Ulph & John Van Reenen, 1998. "R&D and unionism: Comparative evidence from British companies and establishments," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 45-63, October.
  23. Steve Bond & Jason Cummins, 2001. "Noisy share prices and the Q model of investment," IFS Working Papers W01/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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