Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2008/1: R&D and financial systems: the determinants of R&Dexpenditures in the Swedish pharmaceutical industry

Claes Malmberg ()
Additional contact information
Claes Malmberg: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This study investigates the determinants of R&D expenditures in the Swedish pharmaceutical industry from the 1960s to the mid 1990s. Various proxies for the rate of return of R&D (e.g. expected profit, sales and R&D productivity) as well as the availability of internal funding (proxied by past cash flows) have been used as explanatory variables in time series regressions. Past cash flow comes out as significant in regressions both at industry level and at firm level (made for each of the two largest companies). Another factor that is significant in most cases is expected sales. However, productivity of the R&D process does not seem to influence R&D expenditures. A comparison of these conclusions with studies of the pharmaceutical industries in countries with different financial systems; the US (with a market based financial system) and Japan (with a more bank based financial system) shows that Sweden (also leaning towards a bank based financial system) has the insensitivity to R&D productivity in common with Japan. This may be interpreted as these industries’ are taking a ‘longer term view’ on their research than the US’. The sensitivity to cash flow, however, is possibly more pronounced in Sweden than in Japan and suggests an important role of internal financing of R&D.

Keywords: R&D expenditures; R&D investments; innovation; financial systems; bank based system; market based system; pharmaceutical industry; Sweden

JEL-codes: O30

23 pages, June 1, 2008

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