R&D Expenditures and Implied Equity Risk Premium
41 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 16, 2011
This study investigates the relationship between research and development (R&D) expenditures and risk premiums implied in costs of equity capital. We posit a positive association between R&D expenditures and implied equity risk premiums because R&D expenditures represent information risk by creating both information asymmetry between investors and managers and low-quality reporting for R&D. Consistent with our hypothesis, we report a significantly positive relationship between R&D expenditures and risk premiums implied in costs of equity capital. Sensitivity tests continue to support our hypothesis. Our results add to risk explanation for the association between firms’ R&D capitals and subsequent stock returns by showing a direct relationship between R&D expenditures and risk premiums implied in costs of equity capital. Our study also extends prior literature on information risk by presenting R&D expenditures as sources of information asymmetry and low-quality reporting to explain risk premiums. From this research along with prior studies, investors can have better knowledge about the risky nature of R&D expenditures that drive up implied risk premiums and at the same time provide opportunity to earn excess returns in short to long horizon. Accounting standard setters can benefit from this study along with relevant research that R&D expenditures represent an off-balance-sheet risk factor and thus warrant reconsidering SFAS No. 2 for potential capitalization of R&D expenditures to some degree. This study is subject to the limitations in calculating risk premiums implied in costs of equity capital.
Keywords: R&D, risk premium, cost of capital, future benefit variability, market adjusted return
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation