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The return to the technological frontier: The conditional effect of plants’ R&D on their productivity in Finnish manufacturing

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  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Eero, Lehto
  • Huovari, Janne

Abstract

This paper examines, through the use of plant-level data, whether R&D’s productivity impact is contingent on the distance of a plant’s productivity from the industry’s technological frontier. R&D is specified as an accumulated stock from R&D investments. We analyse the productivity effect of a plant’s own R&D as well as the productivity impact of the plant’s parent firm’s and other firms’ proximity-weighted R&D stocks. The results show that a plant’s own and a parent firm’s R&D have a positive productivity impact and that the former impact decreases as the distance from the industry’s technological frontier increases. Furthermore, the productivity effect of other firms’ proximity-weighted R&D is, on average, positive, but this impact increases in the distance from the technological frontier. Another important finding is that all the plants tend to converge towards the industry’s technological frontier despite the size of external R&D spillovers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8715.

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Date of creation: 12 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8715

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Keywords: productivity; efficiency; technological frontier; spillovers; convergence;

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  1. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2001. "Knowledge spillovers and local innovation systems: a critical survey," LIUC Papers in Economics 84, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2000. "Mapping the two faces of R&D: productivity growth in a panel of OECD industries," IFS Working Papers W00/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Petri Rouvinen, 2002. "R&D-Productivity Dynamics: Causality, Lags, and "Dry Holes"," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 123-156, May.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas & Vandenbussche, Jérôme, 2005. "Growth, Distance to Frontier and Composition of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Sourafel Girma, 2003. "Absorptive capacity and productivity spillovers From FDI: a threshold regression analysis," European Economy Group Working Papers 25, European Economy Group.
  7. Michael J. Orlando, 2004. "Measuring Spillovers from Industrial R&D: On the Importance of Geographic and Technological Proximity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 777-786, Winter.
  8. Eero Lehto, 2007. "Regional Impact of Research and Development on Productivity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 623-638.
  9. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
  10. Feyrer James D, 2008. "Convergence by Parts," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-35, July.
  11. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29144, The World Bank.
  12. Tibor Scitovsky, 1954. "Two Concepts of External Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 143.
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