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Spillovers, Linkages, and Productivity Growth in the US Economy, 1958 to 2007

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  • Edward N. Wolff

Abstract

I speculate that technological spillover effects may have become more important over time as IT penetrated the U.S. economy. The rationale is that IT may speed up the process of knowledge transfer and make these knowledge spillovers more effective. Using US input-output tables for years 1958, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, and 2007, I compare my new results with Wolff and Nadiri (1993) covering years 1947-1977 and Wolff (1997) covering 1958- 1987. I estimate that the direct rate of return to R&D is now 22% and the indirect rate of return to R&D is 37%. The former is higher than in the previous studies. The indirect rate of return to R&D is now significant at the one percent level, in comparison to a 10 percent significance level in Wolff (1997). The newly estimated social rate of return to R&D is 59%, compared to 53% in Wolff (1997). In contrast to the earlier studies, the coefficients of R&D embodied in new investment are now statistically significant at the five percent level. Separate regressions on the 1958-1987 and 1987-2007 periods and the addition of successive periods to the sample also suggest a strengthening of R&D spillovers between the 1958-1987 and 1987-2007 periods. A decomposition of TFP growth also indicates a higher contribution from R&D spillovers in the later period. These results suggest a strengthening of the R&D spillover effect over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16864.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: published as Productivity Growth: Industries, Spillovers and Economic Performance [withThijs ten Raa], Edward Elgar Publishers, Cheltenham, UK, 2012.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16864

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  1. Coe, D.T. & Helpman, E., 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," Papers 5-93, Tel Aviv.
  2. Acharya, Ram C. & Keller, Wolfgang, 2008. "Estimating the Productivity Selection and Technology Spillover Effects of Imports," CEPR Discussion Papers 6860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1986. "Research and Development and Intraindustry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," NBER Working Papers 2002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Madsen, Jakob B., 2007. "Technology spillover through trade and TFP convergence: 135 years of evidence for the OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 464-480, July.
  5. Lychagin, Sergey & Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E. & Van Reenen, John, 2010. "Spillovers in Space: Does Geography Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7928, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jansen, Pieter Kop & ten Raa, Thijs, 1990. "The Choice of Model in the Construction of Input-Output Coefficients Matrices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 213-27, February.
  7. Bartelsman, E.J. & Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "Short and Long Run Externalities," Papers 91-18, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  8. Carmine Ornaghi, 2002. "Spillovers In Product And Process Innovation: Evidence From Manufacturing Firms," Economics Working Papers we023213, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicola Gennaioli & Rafael Laporta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Schleifer, 2011. "Human Capital and Regional Development," Working Papers 581, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

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