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The role of extensive and intensive margins in explaining corporate R&D growth: Evidence from Spain


Author Info

  • Juan Antonio Máñez Castillejo

    (Universitat de València)

  • Dolores Añón Higón

    (Dpto. Estructura Económica)

  • Juan Alberto Sanchis Llopis

    (Dpto. Estructura Económica)


We analyse the growth of corporate R&D in the Spanish manufacturing sector through its decomposition into the extensive and intensive margins. These margins are decomposed into three distinct components: starting new R&D activities; R&D activities that survive or persist; and deepening existing R&D efforts. The data used is a panel of Spanish manufacturing firms drawn from the Encuesta sobre Estrategias Empresariales, for the period 1990-2006. We show that despite having experienced a substantial increase in R&D, the relative importance of each component differs for small and largefirms. We find that small firms would have had a significant higher R&D growth should they be able to improve their performance with respect to the survival component of the intensive margin. For large firms, deepening appears to be the most important component explaining R&D in the long run. Este trabajo estudia el crecimiento del gasto privado en I+D de las empresas manufactureras españolas a través de su descomposición en dos componentes: el margen extensivo y el margen intensivo. Estos márgenes se descomponen en 3 sub-componentes: iniciarse en la realización de nuevas actividades de I+D; supervivencia o persistencia en la realización de actividades de I+D; e, intensificación de las actividades de I+D ya existentes. Los datos que utilizamos en este trabajo han sido extraídos de laEncuesta sobre Estrategias Empresariales, para el periodo 1990-2006. Nuestros resultados indican que a pesar de que las empresas manufactureras españolas han experimentado un importante aumento en el gasto en I+D, la importancia relativa de cada componente es distinta para las empresas pequeñas respecto de las empresas grandes. Así, las empresas pequeñas hubieran experimentado un mayor aumento en el crecimiento del gasto en I+D si hubieran sido capaces de mejorar el componente depersistencia en la realización de actividades de I+D, dentro del margen intensivo. Para las empresas grandes, la intensificación en la realización de actividades de I+D constituye el principal componente a la hora de explicar la evolución de largo plazo del gasto en I+D.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie EC with number 2011-05.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasec:2011-05

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Keywords: I+D; Margen extensivo; Margen intensivo. R&D; Extensive margins; Intensive margin.;

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