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Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms

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  • Hall, Bronwyn H.
  • Mairesse, Jacques

Abstract

This paper uses a newly available dataset on the R&D performance of individual French manufacturing firms for the 1980s to replicate and update a series of studies on French R&D and productivity growth at the firm level during the 1970s. The focus of the paper is on the use of a single dataset to evaluate the robustness of the methods commonly used to measure the private returns to R&D. We investigate the consequences of varying specifications and estimations. and in particular that of using different measures of R&D (knowledge) capital and of double counting corrections. Our main findings are the following: first. having a longer history of R&D expenditures helps in predicting the productivity growth of firms, but the choice of depreciation rate for R&D capital makes little difference to the results. Second, the correction for double counting of R&D expenditures in capital and labor is important and converts a measured "excess" rate of returns to a total rate of return to R&D. Third. we show that the direct production function approach to measuring the returns to R&D capital is preferred on several grounds over the rate of returns variation which has been used in the past. Finally, the productivity, of knowledge capital in the production function is uniformly positive, fairly robust, and correlated with permanent firm or industry effects.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:65:y:1995:i:1:p:263-293
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1990. "The Impact of Corporate Restructuring on Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1990 Micr), pages 85-135.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Comparing Productivity Growth: An Exploration of French and U.S. Industrial and Firm Data," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 157-186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hall, Bronwyn H., 1993. "The Value of Intangible Corporate Assets: An Empirical Study of the Components of Tobin's Q," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44x548gq, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity and R&D at the Firm Level," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 100-133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1.
    6. Jacques Mairesse, 1988. "Les lois de la production ne sont plus ce qu'elles étaient : une introduction à l'économétrie des panels," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 39(1), pages 225-271.
    7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity, R&D, and Basic Research at the Firm Level in the 1970s," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 82-99, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Returns to Research and Development Expenditures in the Private Sector," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 49-81, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
    10. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "R&D and Productivity Growth at the Industry Level: Is There Still a Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 213-240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    12. Jacques Mairesse & Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?," NBER Working Papers 2619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jacques Mairesse & Mohamed Sassenou, 1989. "Les facteurs qualitatifs de la productivité : un essai d'évaluation," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 91(5), pages 35-42.
    14. Jacques Mairesse & Mohamed Sassenou, 1991. "R&D Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 3666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Philippe Cuneo & Jacques Mairesse, 1984. "Productivity and R&D at the Firm Level in French Manufacturing," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 375-392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. John W. Kendrick & Beatrice N. Vaccara, 1980. "New Developments in Productivity Measurement and Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend80-1.
    17. Jacques Mairesse & Philippe Cunéo, 1985. "Recherche-développement et performances des entreprises : une étude économétrique sur données individuelles," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 36(5), pages 1001-1042.
    18. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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