Product Innovation and Credit Market Disruptions
59 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019 Last revised: 3 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 2019
We combine micro-level product barcode data for the consumer goods industry obtained from Nielsen with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Dealscan lending datasets to provide new evidence that credit market disruptions significantly affected the level, quality, and type of product innovation during the recent financial crisis. We find that credit market disruptions did not affect the rate of introduction of new products on a firm's existing product lines but limited their expansion to new product lines. Moreover, products created by firms experiencing credit market disruptions contain fewer novel product characteristics. Consistent with a credit frictions channel, these effects are concentrated in smaller, younger, and non-publicly listed firms. Our estimates further indicate that products introduced in new categories by credit-constrained firms during the financial crisis are less successful throughout their entire life cycle than products introduced in new categories by the same firm during normal times. Overall, our findings suggest that disrupted credit markets disrupt radical product innovation.
Keywords: Innovation; Multi-Product Firms; Financial Constraints; Great Recession
JEL Classification: G11, G21, G31, G32, L15, L25, O31, O32
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