IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v38y2009i9p1438-1445.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring the returns of R&D--An empirical study of the German manufacturing sector over 45 years

Author

Listed:
  • Lang, Guenter

Abstract

Motivated by recent statistics that show significant growth in labor productivity, this paper seeks to analyze the long-term relationship between domestic R&D, knowledge stock and productivity dynamics. Time series data of the German manufacturing industry is used to estimate a variable cost function with the stock of knowledge being dependent upon current and past R&D spending. The estimates indicate that 50% of the effects of R&D on the knowledge stock appear within 4 years. However, the rate of return on R&D are shown to be drastically declining; recent rates of return on R&D are estimated to have reached an all-time low spanning the last 45 years. Current yields of R&D are only one third compared to the sixties. In conclusion, though the productivity slowdown of the seventies seems to have been overcome, this is not attributed to R&D investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Lang, Guenter, 2009. "Measuring the returns of R&D--An empirical study of the German manufacturing sector over 45 years," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1438-1445, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:9:p:1438-1445
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048-7333(09)00148-6
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gebhardt Flaig & Horst Rottmann, 2001. "Input Demand and the Short- and Long-Run Employment Thresholds: An Empirical Analysis for the German Manufacturing Sector," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(4), pages 367-384, November.
    2. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    3. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
    4. Bronwyn Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2009. "Innovation and productivity in SMEs: empirical evidence for Italy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 13-33, June.
    5. 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.
    6. David Audretsch & Erik Lehmann, 2006. "Do locational spillovers pay? empirical evidence from German IPO data," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 71-81.
    7. Blind, Knut & Grupp, Hariolf, 1999. "Interdependencies between the science and technology infrastructure and innovation activities in German regions: empirical findings and policy consequences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 451-468, June.
    8. David B. audretsch & Erik E. Lehmann, 2005. "Mansfield's Missing Link: The Impact of Knowledge Spillovers on Firm Growth," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 207-210, January.
    9. Dietmar Harhoff, 1998. "R&D and Productivity in German Manufacturing Firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 29-50.
    10. Beise, Marian & Stahl, Harald, 1999. "Public research and industrial innovations in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 397-422, April.
    11. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1993. "Industrial Research during the 1980s: Did the Rate of Return Fall?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2 Microec), pages 289-343.
    12. William D. Nordhaus, 2002. "Productivity Growth and the New Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 211-265.
    13. 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.
    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. Flaig, Gebhard & Steiner, Viktor, 1993. "Searching for the "Productivity Slowdown": Some Surprising Findings from West German Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 57-65, February.
    16. Goto, Akira & Suzuki, Kazuyuki, 1989. "R&D Capital, Rate of Return on R&D Investment and Spillover of R&D in Japanese Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 555-564, November.
    17. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Productivity, R&D, and the Basic Research at the Firm Level in the 1970's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 141-154, March.
    18. Popp, David C., 2001. "The effect of new technology on energy consumption," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 215-239, July.
    19. Wakelin, Katharine, 2001. "Productivity growth and R&D expenditure in UK manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1079-1090, August.
    20. Morrison, Catherine J, 1992. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the United States, Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markups," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 381-393, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Peilei Fan, 2011. "Innovation capacity and economic development: China and India," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 49-73, April.
    2. Elias Carayannis & Vivienne Wang, 2012. "Competitiveness Model—A Double Diamond," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 3(3), pages 280-293, September.
    3. Chiara F. DEL BO, 2014. "The rate of return to investment in R&D infrastructure: an overview," Departmental Working Papers 2014-11, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Becker, Lasse, 2015. "Effectiveness of public innovation support in Europe: Does public support foster turnover, employment and labour productivity?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 236, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. Ronia Hawash & Guenter Lang, 2010. "The Impact of Information Technology on Productivity in Developing Countries," Working Papers 19, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
    6. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Peilei Fan, 2014. "Innovation In China," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 725-745, September.
    7. Lin, Jun-You, 2014. "Effects on diversity of R&D sources and human capital on industrial performance," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 168-184.
    8. Driver, Ciaran & Guedes, Maria João Coelho, 2012. "Research and development, cash flow, agency and governance: UK large companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1565-1577.
    9. Jian Li & Kunrong Shen & Ru Zhang, 2011. "Measuring Knowledge Spillovers: A Non-appropriable Returns Perspective," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 12(2), pages 265-293, November.
    10. Mariana Mazzucato & Stuart Parris, 2015. "High-growth firms in changing competitive environments: the US pharmaceutical industry (1963 to 2002)," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 145-170, January.
    11. Becker, Lasse & Bizer, Kilian, 2015. "Federalism and innovation support for small and medium-sized enterprises: Empirical evidence in Europe," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 245, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    12. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Cinzia Daraio, 2013. "Knowledge spillover effects at the sub-regional level. Theory and estimation," DIAG Technical Reports 2013-13, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
    13. Wong, Chan-Yuan & Goh, Kim-Leng, 2012. "The sustainability of functionality development of science and technology: Papers and patents of emerging economies," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 55-65.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:9:p:1438-1445. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.