What's your Identification Strategy? Innovation in Corporate Finance Research
47 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014 Last revised: 24 Sep 2018
Date Written: May 13, 2016
We study the diffusion of techniques designed to identify causal relationships in corporate finance research. We estimate the diffusion started in the mid-nineties, lags twenty years compared to economics, and is now used in the majority of corporate finance articles. Consistent with recent theories of technology diffusion, the adoption varies across researchers based on individuals' expected net benefits of adoption. Younger scholars, holders of PhDs in economics, and those working at top institutions adopt faster. Adoption is accelerated through networks of colleagues and alumnis and is also facilitated by straddlers who cross-over from economics to finance. Our findings highlight new forces that explain the diffusion of innovation and shape the norms of academic research.
Keywords: corporate finance, identification, technology diffusion, causality
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