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The Transatlantic Productivity Gap: Is R&D the Main Culprit?

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Author Info

  • Raquel Ortega-Argilés

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Mariacristina Piva

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Marco Vivarelli

    ()
    (Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Abstract

The literature has pointed to different causes to explain the productivity gap between Europe and United States in the last decades. This paper tests the hypothesis that the lower European productivity performance in comparison with the US can be explained not only by a lower level of corporate R&D investment, but also by a lower capacity to translate R&D investment into productivity gains. The proposed microeconometric estimates are based on a unique longitudinal database covering the period 1990-2008 and comprising 1,809 US and European companies for a total of 16,079 observations. Consistent with previous literature, we find robust evidence of a significant impact of R&D on productivity; however – using different estimation techniques - the R&D coefficients for the US firms always turn out to be significantly higher. To see to what extent these transatlantic differences may be related to the different sectoral structures in the US and the EU, we differentiated the analysis by sectors. The result is that both in manufacturing, services and high-tech sectors US firms are more efficient in translating their R&D investments into productivity increases.

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File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2011/201103.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics in its series IREA Working Papers with number 201103.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision: Mar 2011
Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201103

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Postal: Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona
Web page: http://www.ub.edu/irea/
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Related research

Keywords: R&D; productivity; embodied technological change; US; EU. JEL classification:O33;

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References

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  1. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation, and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 6696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bart van Ark & Mary O'Mahoney & Marcel P. Timmer, 2008. "The Productivity Gap between Europe and the United States: Trends and Causes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 25-44, Winter.
  3. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli, 2010. "Is Corporate R&D Investment In High-Tech Sectors More Effective?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 353-365, 07.
  4. Santamara, Llus & Nieto, Mara Jess & Barge-Gil, Andrs, 2009. "Beyond formal R&D: Taking advantage of other sources of innovation in low- and medium-technology industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-517, April.
  5. Lööf, Hans & Heshmati, Almas, 2001. "On the Relationship between Innovation and Performance: A sensitivity Analysis," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0446, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 01 Oct 2001.
  6. Ramon Gomez-Salvador & Alberto Musso & Marc Stocker & Jarkko Turunen, 2006. "Labour productivity developments in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 53, European Central Bank.
  7. Laure Turner & Hervé Boulhol, 2008. "Recent Trends and Structural Breaks in US and EU15 Labour Productivity Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 628, OECD Publishing.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Manuela Alcañiz & Montserrat Guillén & Daniel Sánchez-Moscona & Miguel Santolino & Oscar Llatje & Lluís Ramon, 2013. "“Prevalence of alcohol-impaired drivers based on random breath tests in a roadside survey”," IREA Working Papers 201313, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jul 2013.
  2. Jaume Belles-Sampera & Montserrat Guillén & Miguel Santolino, 2013. "“Beyond Value-at-Risk: GlueVaR Distortion Risk Measures”," IREA Working Papers 201302, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Feb 2013.
  3. Michael Artis & Ernest Miguélez & Rosina Moreno, 2009. "Assessing agglomeration economies in a spatial framework with endogenous regressors," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33239, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Joan Calzada & Fernando Martínez, 2013. "“Broadband prices in the European Union: competition and commercial strategies”," IREA Working Papers 201309, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2013.
  5. María Lorena Marí del Cristo & Marta Gómez-Puig, 2013. "“Fiscal sustainability and fiscal shocks in a dollarized and oil-exporting country: Ecuador”," IREA Working Papers 201306, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2013.
  6. Jaume Belles-Sampera & Montserrat Guillén & José M. Merigó & Miguel Santolino, 2013. "“Indicators for the characterization of discrete Choquet integrals”," IREA Working Papers 201311, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2013.
  7. Joan Calzada & Anton Costas, 2013. "“La liberalización de las telecomunicaciones en España: control de la inflación y universalización del servicio”," IREA Working Papers 201310, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2013.
  8. Xavier Fageda & Rafael Rubio & Montserrat Termes, 2013. "“Determinants of Broadband Access: Is Platform Competition always the Key Variable to Success?”," IREA Working Papers 201303, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Mar 2013.
  9. Miguel Santolino & Catalina Bolancé & Manuela Alcañiz, 2011. "Factors affecting hospital admission and recovery stay duration of in-patient motor victims in Spain," IREA Working Papers 201119, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2011.
  10. David Castells & Vicente Royuela, 2011. "Agglomeration, Inequality and Economic Growth," IREA Working Papers 201114, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2012.
  11. Juan Luis Jiménez & Jordi Perdiguero & Ancor Suárez, 2011. "Debating as a classroom tool for adapting learning outcomes to the European higher education area," IREA Working Papers 201109, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2011.
  12. Lluís Bermúdez & Antoni Ferri & Montse Guillén, 2011. "A correlation sensitivity analysis of non-life underwriting risk in solvency capital requirement estimation," IREA Working Papers 201113, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Sep 2011.
  13. Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda & Melania Mur, 2011. "Why do municipalities cooperate to provide local public services? An empirical analysis," IREA Working Papers 201118, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2011.

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