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How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing

Author

Listed:
  • John Van Reenen
  • Rupert Harrison
  • Rachel Griffith

Abstract

We examine the "technology sourcing" hypothesis that foreign research labs located in the U.S. tap into U.S. R&D spillovers and improve home country productivity. We show that U.K. firms that established a high proportion of inventors based in the U.S. by 1990 benefited disproportionately from the growth of U.S. R&D stock over the next ten years. We estimate that U.S. R&D during the 1990s was associated with 5 percent higher Total Factor Productivity for U.K. manufacturing firms in 2000 (about $13 billion), with the majority of benefits accruing to firms with an innovative presence in the U.S. (JEL F23, O32, O33)

Suggested Citation

  • John Van Reenen & Rupert Harrison & Rachel Griffith, 2006. "How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1859-1875, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1859-1875
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1859
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1999. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence From Patent Citations," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 105-136.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    3. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 752-782, September.
    5. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie & Frank Lichtenberg, 2001. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Transfer Technology Across Borders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 490-497, August.
    6. Keller, Wolfgang, 1998. "Are international R&D spillovers trade-related?: Analyzing spillovers among randomly matched trade partners," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1469-1481, September.
    7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    8. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    10. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2002. "Patents, Real Options and Firm Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 97-116, March.
    11. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
    13. Branstetter, Lee G., 2001. "Are knowledge spillovers international or intranational in scope?: Microeconometric evidence from the U.S. and Japan," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 53-79, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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    1. How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing (AER 2006) in ReplicationWiki

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