Do Financing Constraints Matter for R&D?

46 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2010 Last revised: 10 May 2013

See all articles by James R. Brown

James R. Brown

Iowa State University - Department of Finance

Gustav Martinsson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK); Stockholm School of Economics - Stockholm School of Economics - Swedish House of Finance, Students; Institute for Financial Research (SIFR)

Bruce C. Petersen

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 5, 2011

Abstract

Information problems and lack of collateral value should make R&D more susceptible to financing frictions than other investments, yet existing evidence on whether financing constraints limit R&D is decidedly mixed, particularly in studies of non-U.S. firms. We study a large sample of European firms and also find little evidence of binding finance constraints when we estimate standard investment-cash flow regressions. However, we find strong evidence that the availability of finance matters for R&D once we directly control for: i) firm efforts to smooth R&D with cash reserves, and ii) firm use of external equity finance. Our study provides a framework for evaluating financing constraints when firms rely extensively on external finance and endogenously manage buffer stocks of liquidity to keep investment smooth, and our findings show that controlling for this smoothing behavior is critical for uncovering the full effect of financing constraints. Our findings also indicate a major role for external equity in financing R&D, highlighting a causal channel through which stock market development and liberalization can promote economic growth by increasing firm-level innovative activity.

Keywords: Financing innovation, R&D financing constraints, Finance and growth, Stock market development, Value of liquidity

JEL Classification: G31, G32

Suggested Citation

Brown, James R. and Martinsson, Gustav and Petersen, Bruce Clayton, Do Financing Constraints Matter for R&D? (May 5, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1684731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1684731

James R. Brown (Contact Author)

Iowa State University - Department of Finance ( email )

Ivy College of Business
Ames, IA 50011
United States
5152944668 (Phone)

Gustav Martinsson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK) ( email )

Stockholm, 100 44
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.kth.se/profile/gusma

Stockholm School of Economics - Stockholm School of Economics - Swedish House of Finance, Students ( email )

111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

Institute for Financial Research (SIFR) ( email )

Drottninggatan 89
SE-113 59 Stockholm, SE-113 60
Sweden

Bruce Clayton Petersen

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
314-935-5643 (Phone)

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