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01.06.2015 | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

Small Business Economics 1/2015

The medium-term effect of R&D on firm growth

Small Business Economics > Ausgabe 1/2015
Marco Capasso, Tania Treibich, Bart Verspagen


This study analyses the effect of R&D expenditure on firm employment growth in the medium term, using six cross-sectional waves of an innovation survey conducted in the Netherlands in all sectors. The analysis is focused on firms having positive R&D expenditure and investigates whether higher investments in R&D (in proportion to firm turnover) translate into higher medium-term growth rates. Comparisons with growth on a shorter term are conducted by following the firm size evolution since the R&D investment for five consecutive years and allowing for firm exit. At all time terms, quantile regression techniques indicate that a higher R&D has a positive effect on high growers and allows a higher number of firms to be high growers. Still, once a firm invests in R&D, even if a higher investment makes the firm more likely to have a very good performance, it does not make it less likely to have a bad one.

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