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

  • Toole, Andrew A.
  • Czarnitzki, Dirk

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.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-013.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7122
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  1. Dirk Czarnitzki & Andrew Toole, 2007. "Business R&D and the Interplay of R&D Subsidies and Product Market Uncertainty," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 169-181, November.
  2. John V. Leahy & Toni M. Whited, 1995. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," NBER Working Papers 4986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ravenscraft, David J, 1983. "Structure-Profit Relationships at the Line of Business and Industry Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 22-31, February.
  4. Goel, Rajeev K. & Ram, Rati, 2001. "Irreversibility of R&D investment and the adverse effect of uncertainty: Evidence from the OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 287-291, May.
  5. Harhoff, Dietmar, 1996. "Are there financing constraints for R&D and investment in German manufacturing firms?," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-28, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Minton, Bernadette A. & Schrand, Catherine, 1999. "The impact of cash flow volatility on discretionary investment and the costs of debt and equity financing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 423-460, December.
  7. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen & Stephen Bond, 2006. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 12383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christopher F. Baum & Mustafa Caglayan & Oleksandr Talavera, 2006. "Uncertainty Determinants of Firm Investment," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 646, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 24 Feb 2007.
  9. Guiso, L. & Parigi, G., 1996. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," Papers 289, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  10. 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.
  11. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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 217-28, June.
  13. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-88, March.
  14. Robert Novy-Marx, 2007. "An Equilibrium Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1461-1502, 2007 29.
  15. Steven R. Grenadier, 2002. "Option Exercise Games: An Application to the Equilibrium Investment Strategies of Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 691-721.
  16. Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 2000. "The Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Investment in Small and Large Businesses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 338-343, May.
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