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The R&D Investment-Uncertainty Relationship: Do Competition and Firm Size Matter?

Author

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  • Toole, Andrew A.
  • Czarnitzki, Dirk

Abstract

This paper investigates how competition and firm size affect the relationship between market uncertainty and R&D investment. We use an intuitively appealing measure of firm-specific uncertainty along with panel data to show that firms invest less in current R&D as uncertainty about market returns increases. The effect of firm-specific uncertainty on R&D investment is smaller in concentrated markets – those where market power is higher and strategic rivalry is more intense. Further, the effect of uncertainty on R&D investment is attenuated for large firms which may be the result greater economies of scope.

Suggested Citation

  • Toole, Andrew A. & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2008. "The R&D Investment-Uncertainty Relationship: Do Competition and Firm Size Matter?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7122
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24684/1/dp08013.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Ghosal, Vivek & Loungani, Prakash, 1996. "Product Market Competition and the Impact of Price Uncertainty on Investment: Some Evidence from US Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 217-228, June.
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    5. Helen Weeds, 2002. "Strategic Delay in a Real Options Model of R&D Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 729-747.
    6. Nick Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 391-415.
    7. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-288, March.
    8. Dirk Czarnitzki & Andrew Toole, 2007. "Business R&D and the Interplay of R&D Subsidies and Product Market Uncertainty," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(3), pages 169-181, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Real Options Theory; Uncertainty; R&D; Competition; Firm Size;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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