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R&D and Productivity Growth: Comparing Japanese and U.S. Manufacturing Firms

In: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence

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  • Zvi Griliches

Abstract

We compute rates of growth in labor productivity during the 1973-80 period for samples of individual manufacturing firms, in both Japan and the U.S., and relate them to differences in the rates of growth in their capital-labor ratios and in their intensities of R&D effort. Japanese firms spent about as much of their own money on R&D, relative to sales, as did similar U.S.firms. An econometric analysis of R&D performing firms leads to the acceptance of the hypothesis that the contribution of such expenditures to productivity growth was about the same in both countries. Hence, the rather large differences on the observed rates of productivity growth between the two countries can not be accounted for by differences in either the intensity or fecundity of such expenditures. We do find two important differences between the two countries which help to explain a significant fraction of the observed differences in productivity but require in turn, an explanation of their own: 1) Japanese firms reduced their employment levels significantly during this period while US firms were increasing theirs. This, by itself, accounts for the twice as fast growth in capital-labor ratio in Japanese manufacturing. 2) The estimated effect of the growth in the capital-labor ratio on firm productivity is approximately twice as large in Japan than in the US. The two factors together can account for about half of the observed differences in the average rates of productivity growth between the two countries.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Zvi Griliches, 1998. "R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril98-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8346.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8346

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    1. Philippe Cuneo & Jacques Mairesse, 1983. "Productivity and R&D at the Firm Level in French Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 1068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1991. "Comparing Productivity Growth: An Exploration of French and U.S. Industrial and Firm Data," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 45-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Clint Cumminq & Elizabeth S. Laderman & Joy Mundy, 1988. "The R&D Master File Documentation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pierre A. Mohnen & M. Ishaq Nadiri & Ingmar R. Prucha, 1984. "R&D, Production Structure, and Productivity Growth in the U.S., Japaneseand German Manufacturing Sectors," NBER Working Papers 1264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jacques Mairesse & Philippe Cunéo, 1985. "Recherche-développement et performances des entreprises : une étude économétrique sur données individuelles," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 36(5), pages 1001-1042.
    6. John Bound & Clint Cummins & Zvi Griliches & Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe, 1984. "Who Does R&D and Who Patents?," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 21-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "R&D and Productivity Growth at the Industry Level: Is There Still a Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 213-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Scotland's R&D: problem, or opportunity?
      by Brian Ashcroft in Scottish Economy Watch on 2012-05-12 13:55:08
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    Cited by:
    1. Nauro F. Campos & Mariana Iootty, 2005. "Firm Entry And Exit In Brazil: Cross-Sectoral Evidence From Manufacturing Industry," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 095, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Seiichi Katayama & Sajal Lahiri & Eiichi Tomiura, 2005. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Destination of Foreign Direct Investment," Discussion Paper Series 166, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    3. Roberto Fontana & Lionel Nesta, 2009. "Product Innovation and Survival in a High-Tech Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 287-306, June.
    4. Robert S. Gibbons, 2010. "Inside Organizations: Pricing, Politics, and Path Dependence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000249, David K. Levine.
    5. Bronwyn H. Hall, Jacques Mairesse, Lee Branstetter, and Bruno Crepon., 1998. "Does Cash Flow Cause Investment and R& D: An Exploration Using Panel Data for French, Japanese, and United States Scientific Firms," Economics Working Papers 98-260, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. Capolupo, Rosa, 2008. "The New Growth Theories and Their Empirics after Twenty Years," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-27, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    7. G. Cameron, 1996. "Innovation and economic growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20685, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Robert Wieser, . "R&D and Productivity: Empirical Evidence at the Firm Level," WIFO Working Papers 158, WIFO.
    9. Calomiris, Charles W. & Himmelberg, Charles P., 1995. "Government credit policy and industrial performance : Japanese machine tool producers, 1963-91," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1434, The World Bank.
    10. Baggs, Jennifer, 2004. "Changing Trade Barriers and Canadian Firms: Survival and Exit After the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004205e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. Takechi, Kazutaka, 2013. "Understanding the productivity effect of M&A in Japan: An empirical analysis of the electronics industry from 1989 to 1998," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25, pages 1-9.
    12. Takechi, Kazutaka, 2011. "R&D intensity and domestic and cross-border M&A of Japanese firms before domestic M&A deregulation," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 112-118, March.
    13. Zheng, Yan, 2004. "R&D inputs and productivity growth in China," MPRA Paper 242, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 May 2004.

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