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Virtue of Bad Times and Financial Market Frictions


  • Min Ouyang

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)


Schumpeter (1939) proposes that recessions have virtue in promoting growth-enhancing activities. However, this view is often at odds with data, as many innovative activities appear pro-cyclical. We revisit the "virtue of bad times" theoretically and empirically. Our theory suggests that recessions have such virtue only when the cyclicality of innovation's marginal opportunity cost dominates that of its marginal expected return; but binding financial constraints can hinder such virtue, preventing innovation from rising during recessions. Our theory is carried to an industry panel of production and innovation. Our evidence suggests that recessions indeed have potential virtue, but such virtue is hindered by financial-market frictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Min Ouyang, 2010. "Virtue of Bad Times and Financial Market Frictions," Working Papers 101103, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:101103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Askenazy & Nicolas Berman & Gilbert Cette & Laurent Eymard, 2012. "Credit Constraints And The Cyclicality Of R&D Investment: Evidence From France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1001-1024, October.
    2. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2006. "Medium-Term Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 523-551, June.
    3. Gadi Barlevy, 2007. "On the Cyclicality of Research and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1131-1164, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Min Ouyang, 2011. "On the Cyclicality of R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 542-553, May.
    6. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Min Ouyang, 2010. "Cyclical Persistence and the Cyclicality of R&D," Working Papers 101104, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2011.

    More about this item


    Recessions; Growth; Financial-market frictions;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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