IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics and Innovation


  • Andrea Caggese

    (Pompeu Fabra University)


This paper develops the model of an industry with heterogeneous firms, and studies the effect of financing frictions and bankruptcy risk on innovation and aggregate productivity growth. The model has two main features: i) the technology of firms gradually becomes obsolete. Firms can counter this process by innovating, but the innovation outcome is risky. ii) Financial frictions cause the inefficient default of financially fragile firms, deter entry, and reduce competitive forces in the industry. I calibrate and solve the model and simulate several industries, and show that financing frictions have two distinct effects on innovation: a "direct effect", for firms that cannot innovate because of lack internal funds to invest, and an "indirect effect", where the changes in competition and profitability change also the incentives to innovate. Simulation results first show that, for realistic parameter values, the indirect effect of financing frictions is much more important than the direct effect in determining the innovation decisions. Second, they show that "Safe innovation" (where firms invest to upgrade their technology and are certain to increase their productivity) is increased by the presence of financing frictions, because the reduction in competition increases the return on innovation. Conversely "Risky innovation" (where firms invest to improve their productivity, but with some probability fail to do so and end up reducing their productivity instead), is discouraged by financing frictions. This happens because the reduction in competition implies that firms remain profitable for a longer time and therefore they wait longer before attempting a risky innovation process. I test these predictions and their implications for productivity growth on a sample of Italian manufacturing firms, and I find that the life cycle and innovation decisions of firms are fully consistent with the model with risky innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Caggese, 2013. "Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics and Innovation," 2013 Meeting Papers 300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:300

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do Countries Default in "Bad Times" ?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 352-360, 04-05.
    2. Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-698, September.
    3. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315.
    4. Christopher Phelan & Robert M. Townsend, 1991. "Computing Multi-Period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 853-881.
    5. Fuentes, Miguel & Saravia, Diego, 2010. "Sovereign defaulters: Do international capital markets punish them?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 336-347, March.
    6. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108.
    7. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2012. "Default and the Maturity Structure in Sovereign Bonds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 187-232.
    8. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2012. "Debt dilution and seniority in a model of defaultable sovereign debt," Working Papers 12-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    9. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    10. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Gita Gopinath, 2009. "Investment Cycles and Sovereign Debt Overhang," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-31.
    11. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Sustainable Plans and Mutual Default," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 175-195.
    12. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-1089, July.
    13. Atkeson Andrew & Lucas Jr. , Robert E., 1995. "Efficiency and Equality in a Simple Model of Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 64-88, June.
    14. David Benjamin & Mark L. J. Wright, 2009. "Recovery Before Redemption: A Theory Of Delays In Sovereign Debt Renegotiations," CAMA Working Papers 2009-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    15. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
    16. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
    17. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2012. "Maturity, Indebtedness, and Default Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2674-2699, October.
    18. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2006. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30.
    19. Gian Luca Clementi & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2006. "A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 229-265.
    20. Kehoe, Patrick J. & Perri, Fabrizio, 2004. "Competitive equilibria with limited enforcement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 184-206, November.
    21. Yared, Pierre, 2010. "A dynamic theory of war and peace," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1921-1950, September.
    22. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239.
    23. David M. Kreps, 1982. "Multiperiod Securities and the Efficient Allocation of Risk: A Comment on the Black-Scholes Option Pricing Model," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Information and Uncertainty, pages 203-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Rose, Andrew K., 2005. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 189-206, June.
    25. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    26. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
    27. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Dynamic Optimal Taxation with Persistent Private Information," 2004 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    28. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
    29. Yue, Vivian Z., 2010. "Sovereign default and debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 176-187, March.
    30. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2006. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 64-83, June.
    31. Ales, Laurence & Maziero, Pricila & Yared, Pierre, 2014. "A theory of political and economic cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 224-251.
    32. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-1097, December.
    33. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. PETER M. DeMARZO & YULIY SANNIKOV, 2006. "Optimal Security Design and Dynamic Capital Structure in a Continuous-Time Agency Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2681-2724, December.
    35. Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2006. "Optimal taxation with endogenously incomplete debt markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 36-73, March.
    36. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 907-928, May.
    37. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
    38. Phelan, Christopher, 2004. "On the irrelevance of the maturity structure of government debt without commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 115-128, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Rosario Crinò & Gino Gancia, 2015. "Trade, finance and endogenous firm heterogeneity," Economics Working Papers 1502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2017.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed013:300. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.