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Relation of Firm Size to R&D Productivity

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  • Jinyoung Kim

    (Department of Economics, Korea University, Korea)

  • Sangjoon John Lee

    (College of Business, Alfred University, U.S.A.)

  • Gerald Marschke

    (Department of Economics, University at Albany¡XSUNY, U.S.A. NBER and IZA)

Abstract

Many studies have shown that small firms generate more patents per R&D dollar than large firms. Does this mean that small firms are more efficient innovators than large firms? In this paper we exploit a unique data set to reexamine the firm size-innovation relationship. Because firm-reported R&D expenditures may be a biased measure of R&D activities due to under-reporting by small firms, we use the number of inventors in the firm¡¦s employ as a measure of R&D inputs. We focus on the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, two industries that are prolific generators of homogenous innovations. As has been found elsewhere in the literature, we find that patents per R&D dollar decline with firm size for both industries. This contrasts with the relationship between patents per inventor and firm size. The average number of patents per inventor increases with size in the semiconductor industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, we find no relationship between the number of patents produced per inventor and firm size.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan in its journal International Journal of Business and Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 7-19

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Handle: RePEc:ijb:journl:v:8:y:2009:i:1:p:7-19

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Keywords: patents; innovation; labor productivity; research; firm size;

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References

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  1. Jinyoung Kim & Sangjoon John Lee & Gerald Marschke, 2007. "Research Scientist Productivity and Firm Size: Evidence from Panel Data on Inventors," Discussion Paper Series 0708, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  2. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu, . "Threshold effects in product R&D decisions: theoretical framework and empirical analysis," Studies on the Spanish Economy 45, FEDEA.
  5. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "A Reprise of Size and R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 925-51, July.
  6. Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch, 1990. "Innovation and Small Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011131, December.
  7. Tsai, Kuen-Hung & Wang, Jiann-Chyuan, 2005. "Does R&D performance decline with firm size?--A re-examination in terms of elasticity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 966-976, August.
  8. Cameron, A Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1986. "Econometric Models Based on Count Data: Comparisons and Applications of Some Estimators and Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 29-53, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Revilla & Zulima Fernández, 2013. "Environmental Dynamism, Firm Size and the Economic Productivity of R&D," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(6), pages 503-522, August.
  2. Gerald Marschke & Jinyoung Kim & Sangjoon John Lee, 2004. "Research Scientist Productivity and Firm Size: Evidence from Panel Data on Investors," Discussion Papers 04-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  3. Frosch, Katharina & Tivig, Thusnelda, 2007. "Age, human capital and the geography of innovation," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 71, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  4. Seong-Sang Lee & Yeonbae Kim, 2009. "The Impact of Efficiency Parameters on Firms Innovative Activities: Evidence from Korean Firm-level data," TEMEP Discussion Papers 200924, Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), revised Nov 2009.
  5. Spielkamp, Alfred & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Rammer, Christian, 2008. "Innovation Success of Non-R&D-Performers: Substituting Technology by Management in SMEs," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-092, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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