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The Anatomy of Industry R&D Intensity Distributions

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  • Cohen, Wesley M
  • Klepper, Steven

Abstract

Using firm data disaggregated by industry, the authors establish a set of regularities in the distribution of firm R&D intensities within manufacturing industries. The authors show how a simple probabilistic process, in which change influences a key unobserved determinant of R&D and firm size conditions the returns to R&D, can account for these regularities and other features of the distributions. The model provides a unified, noncausal explanation of a series of long-observed relationships across mean R&D intensity, market concentration, and the coefficient of variation. It also offers a novel explanation for the inverse relationship between R&D productivity and firm size. Copyright 1992 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1992. "The Anatomy of Industry R&D Intensity Distributions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 773-799, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:82:y:1992:i:4:p:773-99
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