R & D Decisions Under Alternative Regulatory Constraints

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The purpose of this paper has been to extend the range of consequences implied by government regulation of privately owned firms. The analytical framework of Section II concentrated on deriving the implications of alternative degrees of regulation on the firm's research and development (R&D) decisions. The analysis implies that managers of stringently regulated firms have greater incentive to neglect such activities related to the search for and production of valuable market information which increases owners' wealth. Among other things, this implies that firms subject to more restrictive regulatory climates are more likely to commit fewer expenditures to R&D activities.

Empirical evidence from the electric power industry was presented in Section III. The results indicate that the interfirm differences in R&D expenditures in this industry can be explained to a large extent by the variability of governmentally imposed regulatory constraints. After controlling for other determinants of R&D behavior, the evidence reveals that electric power firms subject to the most restrictive regulatory constraints do significantly (at the 5 percent level and better) less R&D than firms operating under the weakest regulatory constraints.



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