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Cyclical Persistence and the Cyclicality of R&D


  • Min Ouyang

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


We propose cyclical persistence as an important factor influencing the timing of innovation. Schumpeter (1939) argues innovation should be concentrated during recessions when its marginal opportunity cost as forgone output is low. We propose the timing of innovation should be affected additionally by innovation's marginal expected return. A simple theory is presented, showing higher persistence raises the cyclical response in innovation's marginal expected return, makes the dominance of innovation's marginal opportunity cost more difficult, and therefore drives R&D pro-cyclical. We carry the theory to an industry panel of R&D and output. Our estimation results suggest persistence helps to account for the observed cross-industry differences in R&D's cyclicality.

Suggested Citation

  • Min Ouyang, 2010. "Cyclical Persistence and the Cyclicality of R&D," Working Papers 101104, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:101104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles Under Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 964-990, September.
    4. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2011. "Read All about It!! What Happens Following a Technology Shock?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1144-1179, June.
    5. Min Ouyang, 2010. "Virtue of Bad Times and Financial Market Frictions," Working Papers 101103, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    6. Gadi Barlevy, 2007. "On the Cyclicality of Research and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1131-1164, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Patrick Francois & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 2009. "Schumpeterian Business Cycles with Pro-Cyclical R&D," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 567-591, October.
    9. 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. Henar Alcalde & Maribel Guerrero, 2016. "Open business models in entrepreneurial stages: evidence from young Spanish firms during expansionary and recessionary periods," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 393-413, June.
    2. Di Ubaldo, Mattia, 2016. "Firms and trade in downturns," Economics PhD Theses 0416, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

    More about this item


    Business cycles; Growth; Cyclical persistence; R&D;

    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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