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European technology policy

  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Eva Gutierrez
  • Samuel Kortum

"European countries do less research than Japan and the United States. But their lower level of research effort has more to do with the smaller markets facing European inventors than with lower research productivity. Europe has substantial research potential, in that increasing research effort in most European countries generates bigger income benefits there than increasing research effort in the United States and Japan by equivalent amounts. Research subsidies, enhanced patent protection, support for public research, higher educational achievement and increased integration are alternative routes towards exploiting this potential. These policies increase productivity not only in Europe, but also elsewhere. One problem with implementing such policies at the national level is the potential for free riding. A second possible problem with policies to promote research concerns their distributional consequences. While all countries within the European Union would benefit from increased research output, the countries that are already best at doing research, which tend to be the richer members, do best. The benefits of policies that facilitate the adoption of innovations are more evenly spread among richer and poorer countries." Copyright Centre for Economic Policy Research, Centre for Economic Studies, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme 1997.

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Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 13 (1998)
Issue (Month): 27 (October)
Pages: 403-438

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:13:y:1998:i:27:p:403-438
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  1. Ginarte, Juan C. & Park, Walter G., 1997. "Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 283-301, October.
  2. Nicholas Bloom & Lucy Chennells & Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 1997. "How has tax affected the changing cost of R&D? Evidence from eight countries," IFS Working Papers W97/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Akiko Tamura, 1995. "Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and U.S. Trade and Direct Foreign Investment Patterns," NBER Working Papers 4758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
  5. Edwin Mansfield & Anthony Romeo, 1980. "Technology Transfer to Overseas Subsidiaries by U. S.-Based Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(4), pages 737-750.
  6. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
  7. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1995. "Virtuous Circles of Productivity: Star Bioscientists and the Institutional Transformation of Industry," NBER Working Papers 5342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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