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Measuring The Social Return To R&D

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  • Charles I. Jones
  • John C. Williams

Abstract

Is there too much or too little research and development (R&D)? In this paper we bridge the gap between the recent growth literature and the empirical productivity literature. We derive in a growth model the relationship between the social rate of return to R&D and the coefficient estimates of the empirical literature and show that these estimates represent a lower bound. Furthermore, our analytic framework provides a direct mapping from the rate of return to the degree of underinvestment in research. Conservative estimates suggest that optimal R&D investment is at least two to four times actual investment. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 113 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1119-1135

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1119-1135

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  1. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Griliches, Zvi, 1992. " The Search for R&D Spillovers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S29-47, Supplemen.
  4. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Kim B. Clark & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 393-416 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Nadiri, M Ishaq, 1989. "Research and Development and Intra-industry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 249-67, April.
  8. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  9. Nestor Terleckyj, 1980. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Industrial Research and Development on the Productivity Growth of Industries," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Measurement, pages 357-386 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sveikauskas, Leo, 1981. "Technological Inputs and Multifactor Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 275-82, May.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  13. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
  14. 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.
  15. Stokey, Nancy L, 1995. "R&D and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 469-89, July.
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