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R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Ugur, Mehmet
  • Trushin, Eshref
  • Solomon, Edna
  • Guidi, Francesco

The relationship between R&D investment and firm/industry productivity has been investigated widely following seminal contributions by Zvi Griliches and others from late 1970s onwards. We aim to provide a systematic synthesis of the evidence, using 1253 estimates from 65 primary studies that adopt the so-called primal approach. In line with prior reviews, we report that the average elasticity and rate-of-return estimates are positive. In contrast to prior reviews, however, we report that: (i) the estimates are smaller and more heterogeneous than what has been reported before; (ii) residual heterogeneity remains high among firm-level estimates even after controlling for moderating factors; (iii) firm-level rates of return and within-industry social returns to R&D are small and do not differ significantly despite theoretical predictions of higher social returns; and (iv) the informational content of both elasticity and rate-of-return estimates needs to be interpreted cautiously. We conclude by highlighting the implications of these findings for future research and evidence-based policy.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 45 (2016)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 2069-2086

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:10:p:2069-2086
DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.08.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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