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Competition and R&D Financing Decisions: Theory and Evidence from the Biopharmaceutical Industry

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  • Richard T. Thakor
  • Andrew W. Lo

Abstract

How does competition affect innovation and how it is financed in R&D-intensive firms? We study the interaction between competition, R&D investments, and the financing choices of such firms using data on biopharmaceutical firms. To motivate the empirical hypotheses, we develop a model for such firms in which their capital structure and amounts invested in R&D as well as existing assets are all determined in response to the degree of competition in the industry. The key predictions are that, as competition increases, such firms will: (1) increase R&D investment relative to investment in assets-in-place that support existing products; (2) carry more cash and maintain less net debt; and (3) experience declining betas but greater total stock return volatility due to higher idiosyncratic risk. While the focus is on the biopharmaceutical industry, the results are broadly applicable to other R&Dintensive industries as well. We provide empirical support for these predictions. In order to deal with the endogeneity issue introduced by the fact that a firm's R&D investments and the product-market competition it faces influence each other, we provide further evidence through a differences-in-differences analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard T. Thakor & Andrew W. Lo, 2015. "Competition and R&D Financing Decisions: Theory and Evidence from the Biopharmaceutical Industry," NBER Working Papers 20903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20903
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sara Ellison Fisher & Iain Cockburn & Zvi Griliches & Jerry Hausman, 1997. "Characteristics of Demand for Pharmaceutical Products: An Examination of Four Cephalosporins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 426-446, Autumn.
    2. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    3. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Sergei Guriev, 2006. "Patents vs. Trade Secrets: Knowledge Licensing and Spillover," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1112-1147, December.
    4. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, February.
    5. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 1990. "A New Look at the Returns and Risks to Pharmaceutical R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 804-821, July.
    6. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Jay R. Ritter, 1983. "Innovation and Communication: Signalling with Partial Disclosure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 331-346.
    7. Joseph Dimasi & Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 1995. "R&D Costs, Innovative Output and Firm Size in the Pharmaceutical Industry," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 201-219.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robin Döttling & Tomislav Ladika & Enrico Perotti, 2016. "The (Self-)Funding of Intangibles," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-093/IV, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Silva, Mario Rafael, 2019. "Corporate finance, monetary policy, and aggregate demand," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-28.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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