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Under what conditions do firms benefit from the research efforts of other organizations?

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  • Kafouros, Mario I.
  • Buckley, Peter J.
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    Abstract

    Although R&D spillovers play a key role in the battle for technological leadership, it is unclear under what conditions firms build on and benefit from the discoveries of others. The study described here empirically examines this issue. The findings indicate that, depending on technological opportunities, firm size and competitive pressure, the net impact of R&D spillovers on productivity can be either positive or negative. Specifically, we find that although spillover effects are positively associated with the technological opportunities that a firm faces, this relationship is reversed when firm size is considered. Whilst external R&D affects large self-reliant firms negatively, its impact on the productivity of smaller firms (who usually introduce incremental innovations that are characterized by a strong reliance on external technologies) is positive, and even higher than that of their own R&D. We also demonstrate that the economic payoff for firms' own R&D is lower when they face intense competition. In cases of low-appropriability, however, spillover effects are more positive, allowing firms to increase their performance using the inventions of others.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 225-239

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:2:p:225-239

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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    References

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    1. Liu, Xiaohui & Buck, Trevor, 2007. "Innovation performance and channels for international technology spillovers: Evidence from Chinese high-tech industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 355-366, April.
    2. James D. Adams & Adam B. Jaffe, 1996. "Bounding the Effects of R&D: An Investigation Using Matched Establishment-Firm Data," NBER Working Papers 5544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Returns to Research and Development Expenditures in the Private Sector," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 49-81 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Paul Stoneman & Otto Toivanen, 2001. "The Impact of Revised Recommended Accounting Practices on R&D Reporting by UK Firms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 123-136.
    7. Bitzer, Jürgen & Geishecker, Ingo, 2005. "What drives trade-related R&D Spillovers? Decomposing knowlege-diffusing trade flows," Discussion Papers 2005/26, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    8. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
    9. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
    11. Raut, Lakshmi K., 1995. "R & D spillover and productivity growth: Evidence from Indian private firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, October.
    12. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 627-34, November.
    13. McGahan, Anita M. & Silverman, Brian S., 2006. "Profiting from technological innovation by others: The effect of competitor patenting on firm value," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1222-1242, October.
    14. Kamien,Morton I. & Schwartz,Nancy L., 1982. "Market Structure and Innovation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521293853, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Aldieri, Luigi, 2011. "Knowledge spillovers and productivity in Italian manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 35018, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Degner, Harald, 2010. "Windows of technological opportunity: do technological booms influence the relationship between firm size and innovativeness?," FZID Discussion Papers 15-2010, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    3. Wang, Chengqi & Kafouros, Mario I., 2009. "What factors determine innovation performance in emerging economies? Evidence from China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 606-616, December.
    4. Wang, Chengqi & Deng, Ziliang & Kafouros, Mario I. & Chen, Yan, 2012. "Reconceptualizing the spillover effects of foreign direct investment: A process-dependent approach," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 452-464.
    5. Kafouros, Mario I. & Buckley, Peter J. & Clegg, Jeremy, 2012. "The effects of global knowledge reservoirs on the productivity of multinational enterprises: The role of international depth and breadth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 848-861.
    6. Kafouros, Mario I. & Forsans, Nicolas, 2012. "The role of open innovation in emerging economies: Do companies profit from the scientific knowledge of others?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 362-370.
    7. LEE, Keun & CHOO, Kineung & Yoon, Minho, 2013. "Comparing the Productivity Impacts of Knowledge Spillovers from Network and Arm’s Length Industries:Findings from Business Groups in Korea," IIR Working Paper 13-15, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Wang, Chengqi & Hong, Junjie & Kafouros, Mario & Boateng, Agyenim, 2012. "What drives outward FDI of Chinese firms? Testing the explanatory power of three theoretical frameworks," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 425-438.
    9. Anne Plunket, 2009. "Firms' inventiveness and localized vertical R&D spillovers," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 147-170.
    10. De Fuentes, Claudia & Dutrénit, Gabriela, 2011. "SMEs´ absorptive capacities and large firms´ knowledge spillovers: Micro evidence from Mexico," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2011/1, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    11. Fu, Xiaolan & Helmers, Christian & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "The two faces of foreign management capabilities: FDI and productive efficiency in the UK retail sector," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 71-88.
    12. Claudia de Fuentes & Gabriela Dutrénit, 2013. "SMEs’ Absorptive Capacities and Large Firms’ Knowledge Spillovers: Micro Evidence from the Machining Industry in Mexico," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, April.

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