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Institutional path dependence and international research intensity


  • Goel, Rajeev K.
  • Saunoris, James W.


Whereas there is informal and formal recognition and understanding of research inertia in driving the intensity of research, there is little formal evidence on the role of historical and political legacy or institutional path dependence in affecting research intensity. This paper uses data on about 100 nations to address this aspect, focusing on the long, medium and short-term research intensity. Across two measures of a nation's institutional history, we find that broader national stability positively affects research intensity both in the long and the medium terms, while the narrower path dependence measure supports these findings, albeit with weak statistical significance. The effects on short-term research intensity lack statistical support across both measures. Comparing institutional path dependence with research inertia, we find that both factors significantly affect research intensity. The main findings are robust to various modifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Goel, Rajeev K. & Saunoris, James W., 2016. "Institutional path dependence and international research intensity," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 851-858.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:52:y:2016:i:pb:p:851-858 DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2015.10.021

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dohse, Dirk & Goel, Rajeev K. & Nelson, Michael A., 2018. "What induces firms to license foreign technologies? International survey evidence," Kiel Working Papers 2100, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:4:p:700-715 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Research intensity; Path dependence; Colonies; Patent rights; History; Democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries


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