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Mergers and innovation: evidence from a panel of US firms

Mahdiyeh Entezarkheir and Saeed Moshiri ()

Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 2018, vol. 27, issue 2, 132-153

Abstract: Mergers lead to larger firms and a less competitive market structure, but their effects on innovation are not clear. Mergers may improve innovation incentives by promoting economies of scope and scale, R&D activities, and increasing the ability to deal with uncertainties. However, mergers may also discourage innovation by reducing competition, increasing costs, and decreasing production and R&D efficiencies. In this study, we investigate merger impacts on innovation using a panel data consisting of four different data sets on publicly traded US manufacturing firms from 1980 to 2003. Our proxy for innovation is based on citation-weighted patent stocks. In our estimation model, we control for endogeneity using instrumental variables and factors such as market share, size, industry, and time. We find that mergers are positively and significantly correlated with firms’ innovation. Our findings also indicate that merger effect on innovation is heterogeneous across industries, increases with market share, and is greater in the long run. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of innovation.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2017.1319094

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