Firm age, ultimate ownership, and R&D investments

Shuangrui Fan, Cong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 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
Pages (from-to)1245-1264
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review of Economics and Finance
Early online date22 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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


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