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Article

Better innovators or more innovators? Managerial overconfidence and corporate R&D

Managerial and Decision Economics. 2018. Vol. 39. No. 4. P. 447-461.

The aim of this paper is to study the influence of chief executive officers' overconfidence on corporate research and development (R&D). We analyze a sample of 766 firms from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands between 2008 and 2013. We use 3 measures of managerial overconfidence: the press coverage of chief executive officers, his/her age, and his/her experience in the industry. Our results show that the firms run by overconfident managers actually invest more in R&D expenditures, even after controlling for country, industry, and time factors. Overconfident managers not only spend more on R&D but also amplify the effect of financial determinants of R&D such as firm liquidity or profitability. Nevertheless, overconfident managers do not invest efficiently in R&D, and these expenditures can negatively affect the value of the firm.