Essays on finance and economic growth : internationalcapital markets and corporate innovation

by Lai Wei

Institution: University of Hong Kong
Year: 2016
Keywords: Capital market - Law and legislation; Technological innovations; Economic development
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2113679
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10722/227950


This thesis consists of two essays on finance and economic growth. Using the passage and the enforcement of capital market laws, the essays study whether and how the development of international capital markets can influence corporate innovation, a vital source for long-term economic growth around the world. In the first essay, I study the question: Do legal restrictions on insider trading accelerate or slow technological innovation? Based on over 75,000 industry-country- year observations across 94 economies from 1976 to 2006, I find that enforcing insider trading laws spurs innovation, as measured by patent intensity, scope, impact, generality, and originality. Consistent with theories that insider trading slows innovation by impeding the valuation of innovative activities, the relation between enforcing insider trading laws and innovation is larger in industries that are naturally innovative and opaque, and equity issuances also rise much more in these industries after a country enforces its insider trading laws. In the second essay, I examine the effect of activating M&A markets on the rate of technological innovation, using staggered adoption of international M&A laws. Based on more than 65,000 industry-country-year observations across 46 economies from 1976 to 2006, I find that adopting the M&A laws increases innovation in the high-tech industries of a country, as measured by patent intensity, scope, impact, generality, and originality. The results are consistent with the incentives provided by an active M&A market that amplifies the valuation of and returns to innovation, and boosts exit liquidity for the entrepreneurs and corporate investors. I also find that M&A volume increases in the high-tech industries, and the improvement of innovation is mainly contributed by the private firms. published_or_final_version Economics and Finance Doctoral Doctor of Philosophy