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This paper 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.
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