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What promotes R&D? Comparative evidence from around the world

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  • Brown, James R.
  • Martinsson, Gustav
  • Petersen, Bruce C.

Abstract

R&D drives innovation and productivity growth, but appropriability problems and financing difficulties likely keep R&D investment well below the socially optimal level, particularly in high- technology industries. Though countries around the world are increasingly interested in using tax incentives and other policy initiatives to address this underinvestment problem, there is little empirical evidence comparing the effectiveness of alternative domestic policies and institutions at spurring R&D. Using data from a broad sample of OECD economies, we find that financial market rules that improve accounting standards and strengthen contract enforcement share a significant positive relation with R&D in more innovative industries, as do stronger legal protections for intellectual property. In contrast, stronger creditor rights and more generous R&D tax credits have a negative differential relation with R&D in more innovative industries. These results suggest that domestic policies directly dealing with appropriability and financing problems may be more effective than traditional tax subsides at promoting the innovative investments that drive economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, James R. & Martinsson, Gustav & Petersen, Bruce C., 2017. "What promotes R&D? Comparative evidence from around the world," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 447-462.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:2:p:447-462
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.11.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierce O’Reilly, 2018. "Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world," OECD Taxation Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
    2. Kadri Männasoo & Heili Hein, 2017. "Are R&D companies credit-constrained? Credit frictions during and post-crisis," TUT Economic Research Series 29, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    3. Montmartin, Benjamin & Herrera, Marcos & Massard, Nadine, 2018. "The impact of the French policy mix on business R&D: How geography matters," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 2010-2027.
    4. Benjamin Montmartin & Marcos Herrera & Nadine Massard, 2017. "R&D Policy regimes in France: New Evidence from a spatio-temporal Analysis," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-22, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    5. Emanuela Carbonara & Giuseppina Gianfreda & Enrico Santarelli & Giovanna Vallanti, 2019. "The Impact of Intellectual Property Rights on Labor Productivity: Do Constitutions Matter?," Working Papers LuissLab 19151, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    6. Machokoto, Michael & Areneke, Geofry, 2020. "Does innovation and financial constraints affect the propensity to save in emerging markets?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
    7. Stojčić, Nebojša & Srhoj, Stjepan & Coad, Alex, 2020. "Innovation procurement as capability-building: Evaluating innovation policies in eight Central and Eastern European countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    8. Gang Chen & James J. Zhang & N. David Pifer, 2019. "Corporate Governance Structure, Financial Capability, and the R&D Intensity in Chinese Sports Sector: Evidence from Listed Sports Companies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(23), pages 1-19, November.
    9. Kadri Männasoo & Heili Hein, 2017. "Capital investments and financing structure: Are R&D companies different?," TUT Economic Research Series 26, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    10. Nobuyuki Takashima & Yasunori Ouchida, 2020. "Quality‐improving R&D and merger policy in a differentiated duopoly: Cournot and Bertrand equilibria," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(7), pages 1338-1348, October.
    11. Dimitrios Pontikakis & Mathieu Doussineau & Nicholas Harrap & Mark Boden, 2018. "Mobilising European Structural and Investment Funds and Horizon 2020 in support of innovation in less developed regions," JRC Working Papers JRC112442, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    12. Hu, Ruiyang & Yang, Yibai & Zheng, Zhijie, 2019. "Effects of subsidies on growth and welfare in a quality-ladder model with elastic labor," MPRA Paper 96801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Coad, Alex & Grassano, Nicola & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Moncada-Paternò-Castello, Pietro & Vezzani, Antonio, 2019. "Innovation and industrial dynamics," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 126-131.
    14. Basse Mama, Houdou, 2018. "Nonlinear capital market payoffs to science-led innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1084-1095.
    15. Coad, Alex, 2019. "Persistent heterogeneity of R&D intensities within sectors: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-50.
    16. Basse Mama, Houdou, 2018. "Innovative efficiency and stock returns: Should we care about nonlinearity?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 81-89.
    17. Chi, Jianxin Daniel & Su, Xunhua & Tang, Yun & Xu, Bin, 2020. "Is language an economic institution? Evidence from R&D investment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    18. Yahui Chen & Changsheng Xu & Ming Yi, 2019. "Does the Belt and Road Initiative Reduce the R&D Investment of OFDI Enterprises? Evidence from China’s A-Share Listed Companies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(5), pages 1-14, March.
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    20. Ch.-M. CHEVALIER, 2018. "Financial constraints of innovative firms and sectoral growth," Documents de Travail de l'Insee - INSEE Working Papers g2018-05, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques.
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    22. Kafouros, Mario & Wang, Chengqi & Mavroudi, Eva & Hong, Junjie & Katsikeas, Constantine S., 2018. "Geographic dispersion and co-location in global R&D portfolios: Consequences for firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(7), pages 1243-1255.
    23. José M. Labeaga & Juan A. Ester Martínez-Ros & Amparo Sanchis-Llopis & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis, 2020. "Does Persistence In Using R&D Tax Credits Help To Achieve Product Innovations?," Working Papers 2003, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    24. Fu, Limin & Boehe, Dirk & Orlitzky, Marc, 2020. "Are R&D-Intensive firms also corporate social responsibility specialists? A multicountry study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(8).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    R & D; innovation; R & D tax credits; Financial markets; Intellectual property protection; Technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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