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Relation of Firm Size to R&D Productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Jinyoung Kim

    (Department of Economics, Korea University, Korea)

  • Sangjoon John Lee

    (College of Business, Alfred University, U.S.A.)

  • Gerald Marschke

    (Department of Economics, University at Albany¡XSUNY, U.S.A. NBER and IZA)

Abstract

Many studies have shown that small firms generate more patents per R&D dollar than large firms. Does this mean that small firms are more efficient innovators than large firms? In this paper we exploit a unique data set to reexamine the firm size-innovation relationship. Because firm-reported R&D expenditures may be a biased measure of R&D activities due to under-reporting by small firms, we use the number of inventors in the firm¡¦s employ as a measure of R&D inputs. We focus on the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, two industries that are prolific generators of homogenous innovations. As has been found elsewhere in the literature, we find that patents per R&D dollar decline with firm size for both industries. This contrasts with the relationship between patents per inventor and firm size. The average number of patents per inventor increases with size in the semiconductor industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, we find no relationship between the number of patents produced per inventor and firm size.

Suggested Citation

  • Jinyoung Kim & Sangjoon John Lee & Gerald Marschke, 2009. "Relation of Firm Size to R&D Productivity," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(1), pages 7-19, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijb:journl:v:8:y:2009:i:1:p:7-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
    2. Tsai, Kuen-Hung & Wang, Jiann-Chyuan, 2005. "Does R&D performance decline with firm size?--A re-examination in terms of elasticity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 966-976, August.
    3. Gerald Marschke & Jinyoung Kim & Sangjoon John Lee, 2004. "Research Scientist Productivity and Firm Size: Evidence from Panel Data on Investors," Discussion Papers 04-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    4. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "A Reprise of Size and R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 925-951, July.
    6. Xulia Gonz·lez & Jordi Jaumandreu, "undated". "Threshold effects in product R&D decisions: theoretical framework and empirical analysis," Studies on the Spanish Economy 45, FEDEA.
    7. Cameron, A Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1986. "Econometric Models Based on Count Data: Comparisons and Applications of Some Estimators and Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 29-53, January.
    8. Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch, 1990. "Innovation and Small Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011131, January.
    9. Pakes, Ariel & Griliches, Zvi, 1980. "Patents and R&D at the firm level: A first report," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 377-381.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Burak Dindaroglu, 2011. "R&D Productivity and Firm Size in Semiconductors and Pharmaceuticals: Evidence from Citation Yields," Working Papers 1101, Izmir University of Economics.
    2. Maria JOSE SILVA & Gastão SOUSA & Jacinta MOREIRA & Jorge SIMÕES, 2011. "Innovation Activities in the Service Sector: Empirical Evidence from Portuguese Firms," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 1(6), pages 1-17, October.
    3. Seong-Sang Lee & Yeonbae Kim, 2009. "The Impact of Efficiency Parameters on Firms Innovative Activities: Evidence from Korean Firm-level data," TEMEP Discussion Papers 200924, Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), revised Nov 2009.
    4. Sangjoon Lee & Jinyoung Kim, 2004. "Research Scientist Productivity and Firm Size: Evidence from Panel Data on Inventors," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 465, Econometric Society.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:105:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1764-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Christian Rammer & Dirk Czarnitzki & Alfred Spielkamp, 2009. "Innovation success of non-R&D-performers: substituting technology by management in SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 35-58, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Frosch, Katharina & Tivig, Thusnelda, 2007. "Age, human capital and the geography of innovation," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 71, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    patents; innovation; labor productivity; research; firm size;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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