Firm age, ultimate ownership, and R&D investments

Shuangrui Fan, Cong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Firms’ innovation activities change over time, yet little is known about how R&D investments, as a critical input to innovation, change with firm age. Moreover, previous studies have documented that ownership, as a fundamental component of corporate governance, influences R&D investments. However, no prior study has ever investigated whether types of ownership affect the age–R&D relationship. Examining R&D investments according to firm age and ultimate ownership casts light on the dynamics of innovation. Based on a sample of publicly listed R&D performing manufacturing firms in China during 2007–2014, this study reveals that R&D investments differ according to firm age. The relationship between firm age and R&D investments is bell-shaped in general. The type of ultimate ownership moderates the age–R&D relationship, as the relationship is more dramatic among SOEs. The findings of this study contribute to ongoing literature on corporate governance and innovation from an emerging economy context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Economics and Finance
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Firm age
  • R&D investments
  • State owner
  • Ultimate ownership

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