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Determinants of firms’ efficiency: do innovations and finance constraints matter? The case of European SMEs

Annalisa Ferrando, Stefania P. S. Rossi and Graziella Bonanno ()

No 2419, Working Paper Series from European Central Bank

Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the relationship between firms’ profit efficiency, access to finance and innovation activities. We enrich our understanding on firms’ performance by adopting the stochastic frontier approach (SFA), which allows us to estimate profit functions and to obtain efficiency scores for a large sample of European firms. We pioneer the use of a novel dataset that merges survey-based data derived from the ECB Survey on access to finance for enterprises (SAFE) with balance sheet information. Our evidence documents that credit constrained firms display an incentive to improve their efficiency in order to increase profitability. Among firms that have embarked in product innovation, those in the industry and high-tech sectors see their effort translated in higher profit efficiency. From a policy perspective, our results could help to better understand the link between innovation, financial constraints and efficiency, which goes beyond the idea that easier access to finance is the panacea to get higher profit efficiency. JEL Classification: D22, D24, L23, O31, C33

Keywords: access to finance; innovation; stochastic frontier approach; survey data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-eff, nep-ent, nep-eur, nep-ino, nep-sbm and nep-tid
Note: 235236
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