Ownership Structure and R&D: An Empirical Analysis of Italian listed companies


  • Fabrizio Rossi University of Cassino and Southern Lazio
  • Richard J. Cebula Jacksonville University (FL)




Ownership structure, corporate governance, R&D, agency theory


The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between research and development outlays (R&D) and firm ownership structure for the public corporations listed on the Italian stock exchange. There is literature on the impact of corporate governance on firms’ innovation, and specifically on the relation between ownership structures and innovation. However, related empirical research is still in its infancy, with most contributions focused on the USA. Using a sample of 369 firm-year observations over the period 2005-2013, we investigate the relationship between R&D outlays and ownership structure estimating both a the fixed-effects panel model and a dynamic panel data system-GMM model. We consider various indicators of corporate governance, such as ownership concentration, board ownership, and institutional investors. Our findings reveal a negative relationship between R&D outlays and ownership concentration. Furthermore, we find a positive relationship between R&D investments and institutional investors, and a positive relationship between R&D outlays on the one hand and both firm size and firm age on the other hand. Finally, we find a negative relationship between R&D outlays and the debt-to-capital ratio.


JEL codes:  G32; G34; O32

Author Biographies

Fabrizio Rossi, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio

Department of Electrical and Information Engineering

University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (FR), Italy

Via G. Di Biasio 43, 03043, Cassino (FR)

PhD in Management Engineering

Adjunct Professor of Economics and Business Organisation

Richard J. Cebula, Jacksonville University (FL)

Davis College of Business, 2800 University Blvd N., Jacksonville, FL 32211, U.S.A

Walker/Wells Fargo Endowed Chair in Finance


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How to Cite

Rossi, F., & Cebula, R. J. (2016). Ownership Structure and R&D: An Empirical Analysis of Italian listed companies. PSL Quarterly Review, 68(275). https://doi.org/10.13133/2037-3643/13153