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Learning through experience in Research & Development: an empirical analysis with Spanish firms

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  • Pilar Beneito

    (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)

  • María E. Rochina-Barrachina

    (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)

  • Amparo Sanchis

    ()
    (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the role of learning through experience in Research and Development (R&D) activities in strengthening firms’ capabilities to achieve innovation outcomes. Using a production function approach, we estimate a count-data model using a panel dataset of Spanish manufacturing firms for the period 1990-2006. We find that the number of years of engagement in R&D activities is positively associated with the achievement of product innovations. Our results highlight that experience in R&D is an additional technological asset to be considered for a good management practice. In particular our findings indicate that the relationship between firms’ R&D experience and product innovations is non-linear, that is, that experience has a positive effect on the probability to achieve product innovations, but at a decreasing rate. In addition, our results suggest that, although large firms are more efficient than SMEs in converting R&D investment into product innovations, SMEs obtain more efficiency gains from R&D experience than large firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia in its series Working Papers with number 1302.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1302

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Keywords: R&D experience; learning; product innovation; count data; SMEs;

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References

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  1. Nancy L Stokey, 1986. "Learning-by-Doing and the Introduction of New Goods," Discussion Papers 699, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, revised May 1987.
  2. Isgut, Alberto & Fernandes, Ana, 2007. "Learning-by-Exporting Effects: Are They for Real?," MPRA Paper 3121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
  4. Baldwin, John R., 1995. "Innovation: The Key to Success in Small Firms," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995076e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  7. West, Jonathan & Iansiti, Marco, 2003. "Experience, experimentation, and the accumulation of knowledge: the evolution of R&D in the semiconductor industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 809-825, May.
  8. Baffoe-Bonnie, John & Ezeala-Harrison, Fidelis, 2005. "Incidence and duration of unemployment spells: Implications for the male-female wage differentials," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-5), pages 824-847, September.
  9. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Knowledge, Innovation Activities and Industrial Evolution," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 289-313, June.
  10. Roberto G. Gutierrez & Jean Marie Linhart & Jeffrey S. Pitblado, 2003. "From the help desk: Local polynomial regression and Stata plugins," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(4), pages 412-419, December.
  11. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
  12. Nola Hewitt-Dundas, 2006. "Resource and Capability Constraints to Innovation in Small and Large Plants," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 257-277, 04.
  13. Pilar Beneito & Amparo Sanchis Llopis & María Engracia. Rochina Barrachina, 2007. "R&D-Experience And Innovation Success," Working Papers. Serie EC 2007-10, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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