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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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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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  1. Sveikauskas, Leo, 1981. "Technological Inputs and Multifactor Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 275-82, May.
  2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  3. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Griliches, Zvi, 1992. " The Search for R&D Spillovers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S29-47, Supplemen.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Exploring the Relationship Between R&D and Productivity in French Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  9. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Kim B. Clark & Zvi Griliches, 1982. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results From the PIMS Data Base," NBER Working Papers 0916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Stokey, Nancy L, 1995. "R&D and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 469-89, July.
  14. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1989. "Research and Development and Intraindustry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," NBER Working Papers 2002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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