Innovation Under Pressure

Heitor Almeida, Vyacheslav Fos, Po Hsuan Hsu, Mathias Kronlund, Kevin Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Firms become more efficient at innovation activities when they face pressure to meet Earnings Per Share (EPS) targets using stock repurchases. Using a regression-discontinuity framework, we find that incentives to engage in “EPS-motivated buybacks” are followed by more citations and higher values for firms' new patents. We trace these effects to improved allocation of R&D resources and a greater focus on novel innovation. The positive effects are concentrated among ex-ante “innovation-efficient” firms that achieve better patenting outcomes after reorganizing (but not cutting) their R&D investments. Our findings illustrate that short-term earnings pressure can act through a free cash flow channel that motivates more efficient spending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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