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Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D

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  • Cohen, Wesley M
  • Levinthal, Daniel A

Abstract

The authors assume that firms invest in R&D not only to generate innovations, but also to learn from competitors and extraindustry knowledge sources (e.g., university and government labs). This argument suggests that the ease of learning within an industry will both affect R&D spending, and condition the influence of appropriability and technological opportunity conditions on R&D. For example, they show that, contrary to the traditional result, intraindustry spillovers may encourage equilibrium industry R&D investment. Regression results confirm that the impact of appropriability and technological opportunity conditions on R&D is influenced by the ease and character of learning. Copyright 1989 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:99:y:1989:i:397:p:569-96
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feltenstein, Andrew & Lebow, David & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1990. "Savings, Commodity Market Rationing, and the Real Rate of Interest in China," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 234-252, May.
    2. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    4. Aizenman, Joshua, 1989. "Monopolistic competition, relative prices, and output adjustment in the open economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 5-28, March.
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