Innovation and Institutional Ownership
College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
John Van Reenen
London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Stanford Graduate School of Business; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7195
We find that institutional ownership in publicly traded companies is associated with more innovation (measured by cite-weighted patents). To explore the mechanism through which this link arises, we build a model that nests the lazy-manager hypothesis with career-concerns, where institutional owners increase managerial incentives to innovate by reducing the career risk of risky projects. The data supports the career concerns model. First, whereas the lazy manager hypothesis predicts a substitution effect between institutional ownership and product market competition (and managerial entrenchment generally), the career-concern model allows for complementarity. Empirically, we reject substitution effects. Second, CEOs are less likely to be fired in the face of profit downturns when institutional ownership is higher. Finally, using instrumental variables, policy changes and disaggregating by type of owner we find that the effect of institutions on innovation does not appear to be due to endogenous selection.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 62
Keywords: career concerns, Innovation, Institutional Ownership, productivity, R&D
JEL Classification: G20, G32, O31, O32, O33
Date posted: March 11, 2009
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