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Productivity effects of basic research in low-tech and high-tech industries

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  • Czarnitzki, Dirk
  • Thorwarth, Susanne

Abstract

R&D encompasses plenty of activities which are usually summarized under the terms of basic research, applied research and development. Although basic research is often associated with low appropriability it provides the fundamental basis for subsequent applied research and development. Especially in the high-tech sector basic research capabilities are an essential component for a firm's success. We use firm-level panel data stemming from Belgian R&D surveys and apply a production function approach which shows that basic research exhibits a premium on a firm's output when compared to applied research and development. When we split the sample into high-tech and low-tech companies, we find a large premium of basic research for firms in high-tech industries, but no premium in low-tech sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Czarnitzki, Dirk & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2012. "Productivity effects of basic research in low-tech and high-tech industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1555-1564.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:9:p:1555-1564
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.04.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Dongphil Chun & Yanghon Chung & Chungwon Woo & Hangyeol Seo & Hyesoo Ko, 2015. "Labor Union Effects on Innovation and Commercialization Productivity: An Integrated Propensity Score Matching and Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-19, April.
    2. Dolores Añón Higón, 2016. "In-house versus External Basic Research and First-to-market Innovations," Working Papers 1601, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    3. Stéphane Lhuillery & Julio Raffo & Intan Hamdan-Livramento, 2016. "Measuring creativity: Learning from innovation measurement," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 31, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    4. Barge-Gil, Andrés & López, Alberto, 2013. "R&D and productivity: In search of complementarity between research and development activities," MPRA Paper 43808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Florian Seliger, 2016. "What determines international and inter-sectoral knowledge flows? The impact of absorptive capacity, technological distance and spillovers," KOF Working papers 16-415, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    6. Beck, Mathias & Junge, Martin & Kaiser, Ulrich, 2017. "Public Funding and Corporate Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 11196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Barge-Gil, Andrés & López, Alberto, 2014. "R&D determinants: Accounting for the differences between research and development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1634-1648.
    8. Fonseca, Tiago & Lima, Francisco & Pereira, Sonia C., 2018. "Understanding productivity dynamics: A task taxonomy approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 289-304.
    9. Lee, Jong-Seon & Park, Ji-Hoon & Bae, Zong-Tae, 2017. "The effects of licensing-in on innovative performance in different technological regimes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 485-496.
    10. Gersbach, Hans & Schetter, Ulrich & Schneider, Maik, 2015. "How Much Science? The 5 Ws (and 1 H) of Investing in Basic Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 10482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Burak Dindaroglu, 2013. "Basic Innovation and Firm Performance," Working Papers 1301, Izmir University of Economics.
    12. Andrés Barge-Gil & Alberto López, 2015. "R versus D: estimating the differentiated effect of research and development on innovation results," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 93-129.
    13. Jürgen Janger, 2015. "Business science links for a new growth path," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 107, WWWforEurope.
    14. Ramiro De Elejalde & David Giuliodori & Rodolfo Stucchi, 2013. "Employment and innovation: Firm level evidence from Argentina," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv291, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    15. Chungwon Woo & Yanghon Chung & Dongphil Chun & Hangyeol Seo, 2014. "Exploring the Impact of Complementary Assets on the Environmental Performance in Manufacturing SMEs," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-21, October.
    16. repec:mes:emfitr:v:51:y:2015:i:1:p:27-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Antonio Revilla & Zulima Fernández, 2013. "Environmental Dynamism, Firm Size and the Economic Productivity of R&D," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(6), pages 503-522, August.
    18. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:252-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Hyytinen, Ari & Maliranta, Mika, 2013. "Firm lifecycles and evolution of industry productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 1080-1098.
    20. Liu, Runjuan & Rosell, Carlos, 2013. "Import competition, multi-product firms, and basic innovation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 220-234.
    21. repec:wfo:wstudy:58413 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Prettner, Klaus & Werner, Katharina, 2016. "Why it pays off to pay us well: The impact of basic research on economic growth and welfare," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 1075-1090.
    23. Añón Higón, Dolores, 2016. "In-house versus external basic research and first-to-market innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 816-829.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Basic research; R&D; Production function estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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