Measuring the Returns to R&D: the Depreciation Problem
AbstractMeasuring the private returns to R&D requires knowledge of its private depreciation or obsolescence rate, which is inherently variable and responds to competitive pressure. Nevertheless, most of the previous literature has used a constant depreciation rate to construct R&D capital stocks and measure the returns to R&D, a rate usually equal to 15 per cent. In this paper I review the implications of this assumption for the measurement of returns using two different methodologies: one based on the production function and another that uses firm market value to infer returns. Under the assumption that firms choose their R&D investment optimally, that is, marginal expected benefit equals marginal cost, I show that both estimates of returns can be inverted to derive an implied depreciation rate for R&D capital. I then test these ideas on a large unbalanced panel of U.S. manufacturing firms for the years 1974 to 2003. The two methods do not agree, in that the production function approach suggests depreciation rates near zero (or even appreciation) whereas the market value approach implies depreciation rates ranging from 20 to 40 per cent, depending on the period. The concluding section discusses the possible reasons for this finding.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): 79-80 ()
Other versions of this item:
- Bronwyn H. Hall, 2010. "Measuring the Returns to R&D: The Depreciation Problem," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 341-381 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bronwyn H. Hall, 2007. "Measuring the Returns to R&D: The Depreciation Problem," NBER Working Papers 13473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing
- L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Zvi Griliches, 1998.
"Returns to Research and Development Expenditures in the Private Sector,"
in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 49-81
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Griliches, 1980. "Returns to Research and Development Expenditures in the Private Sector," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Measurement, pages 419-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chan, Su Han & Martin, John D. & Kensinger, John W., 1990. "Corporate research and development expenditures and share value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 255-276, August.
- Ekeland, I & Heckman, JJ & Nesheim, L, 2004.
"Identification and estimation of hedonic models,"
Open Access publications from University College London
http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Ivar Ekeland & James J. Heckman & Lars Nesheim, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1031, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ivar Ekeland & James J. Heckman & Lars P. Nesheim, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," NBER Working Papers 9910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ekeland, Ivar & Heckman, James J. & Nesheim, Lars, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," IZA Discussion Papers 853, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ivar Ekeland & James Heckman & Lars Nesheim, 2002. "Identification and estimation of hedonic models," CeMMAP working papers CWP07/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Ekeland, I. & Heckman, J.J. & Nesheim, L., 2004. "Identification and estimation of hedonic models," Open Access publications from University College London http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419.
- Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997.
"Production Functions : The Search for Identification,"
97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James N. Brown & Harvey S. Rosen, 1982.
"On the Estimation of Structural Hedonic Price Models,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brown, James N & Rosen, Harvey S, 1982. "On the Estimation of Structural Hedonic Price Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 765-68, May.
- Zvi Griliches & Bronwyn H. Hall & Ariel Pakes, 1991. "R&D, Patents, and Market Value Revisited: Is There Evidence of A SecondTechnological Opportunity Related Factor?," NBER Working Papers 2624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cockburn, Iain & Griliches, Zvi, 1988.
"Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Market's Valuation of R&D and Patents,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 419-23, May.
- Iain Cockburn & Zvi Griliches, 1987. "Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Markets Valuation of R&D and Patents," NBER Working Papers 2465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bosworth, Derek & Rogers, Mark, 2001. "Market Value, R&D and Intellectual Property: An Empirical Analysis of Large Australian Firms," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(239), pages 323-37, December.
- repec:fth:inseep:9730 is not listed on IDEAS
- Louis K. C. Chan, 2001. "The Stock Market Valuation of Research and Development Expenditures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2431-2456, December.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1981.
"Market value, R&D, and patents,"
Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 183-187.
- Pacher, Sebastian, 2012. "The modern enterprise and the stock market: exploring the effects of uncertainty on the valuation and financing of innovation and intangibles," Open Access publications from Maastricht University urn:nbn:nl:ui:27-31195, Maastricht University.
- Zhang, Rui & Sun, Kai & Delgado, Michael & Kumbhakar, Subal, 2011. "Productivity in China's high technology industry: Regional heterogeneity and R&D," MPRA Paper 32507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- E. C. Mamatzakis, 2010.
"The contribution of the publicly-funded R&D capital to productivity growth and an application to the Greek food and beverages industry,"
International Review of Applied Economics,
Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 483-494.
- Mamatzakis, E, 2009. "The Contribution of the Publicly Funded R&D Capital to Productivity Growth and an application to the Greek food and beverages industry," MPRA Paper 19388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli, 2011.
"R&D and productivity: testing sectoral peculiarities using micro data,"
Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 817-839, December.
- Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli, 2009. "R&D and Productivity: Testing Sectoral Peculiarities Using Micro Data," JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2009-3, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
- Potters, Lesley & Ortega-Argilés, Raquel & Vivarelli, Marco, 2008. "R&D and Productivity: Testing Sectoral Peculiarities Using Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bettina Becker, 2013. "The Determinants of R&D Investment: A Survey of the Empirical Research," Discussion Paper Series 2013_09, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2013.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Robert Gary-Bobo).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.