IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v113y1998i4p1119-1135..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring the Social Return to R&D

Author

Listed:
  • Charles I. Jones
  • John C. Williams

Abstract

Is there too much or too little research and development (R&D)? In this paper we bridge the gap between the recent growth literature and the empirical productivity literature. We derive in a growth model the relationship between the social rate of return to R&D and the coefficient estimates of the empirical literature and show that these estimates represent a lower bound. Furthermore, our analytic framework provides a direct mapping from the rate of return to the degree of underinvestment in research. Conservative estimates suggest that optimal R&D investment is at least two to four times actual investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1998. "Measuring the Social Return to R&D," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1119-1135.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1119-1135.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355398555856
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Nestor Terleckyj, 1980. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Industrial Research and Development on the Productivity Growth of Industries," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Measurement and Analysis, pages 357-386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1989. "Research and Development and Intra-industry Spillovers: An Empirical Application of Dynamic Duality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 249-267.
    5. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    6. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 134-156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," Working Papers 93-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    8. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    9. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, February.
    12. Nancy L. Stokey, 1995. "R&D and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 469-489.
    13. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 627-634, November.
    14. Sveikauskas, Leo, 1981. "Technological Inputs and Multifactor Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 275-282, May.
    15. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    2. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Measuring the Returns to R&D," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1033-1082, Elsevier.
    3. G Cameron, 1996. "Innovation and Economic Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0277, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Henrik Braconier & Fredrik Sjöholm, 1998. "National and international spillovers from R&D: Comparing a neoclassical and an endogenous growth approach," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(4), pages 638-663, December.
    5. G. Medda & C. Piga, 2004. "R&S e spillover industriali: un'analisi sulle imprese italiane," Working Paper CRENoS 200406, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    6. Smolny, Werner, 1997. "Endogenous innovations in a model of the firm: Theory and empirical application for West-German manufacturing firms," Discussion Papers 39, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
    7. Diego Comin, 2004. "R&D: A Small Contribution to Productivity Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-421, December.
    8. Michael J. Orlando, 2000. "On the importance of geographic and technological proximity for R&D spillovers : an empirical investigation," Research Working Paper RWP 00-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    9. Giuseppe Medda & Claudio Piga, 2014. "Technological spillovers and productivity in Italian manufacturing firms," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 419-434, June.
    10. Corderi, David & Cynthia Lin, C.-Y., 2011. "Measuring the social rate of return to R&D in coal, petroleum and nuclear manufacturing: A study of the OECD countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2780-2785, May.
    11. Yuen Ping Ho & Poh Kam Wong & Mun Heng Toh, 2009. "The Impact Of R&D On The Singapore Economy: An Empirical Evaluation," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 54(01), pages 1-20.
    12. Ana Lara GÓMEZ, 2015. "Technological Spillovers of Research Infrastructures," Departmental Working Papers 2015-18, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    13. Alberto Bucci, 2005. "Product Market Competition, R&D Effort and Economic Growth," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1011, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
    14. Christoph Meister & Bart Verspagen & Guntram B. Wolff, 2006. "European Productivity Gaps: Is R&D the Solution?," Chapters, in: Susanne Mundschenk & Michael H. Stierle & Ulrike Stierle-von Schütz & Iulia Traistaru-Siedschlag (ed.), Competitiveness and Growth in Europe, chapter 8, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Joëlle Noailly & Daniël Waagmeester & Bas Jacobs & Marieke Rensman & Dinand Webbink, 2005. "Scarcity of science and engineering students in the Netherlands," CPB Document 92, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    16. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna & Guidi, Francesco, 2016. "R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2069-2086.
    17. Zeng, Jinli & Zhang, Jie, 2007. "Subsidies in an R&D growth model with elastic labor," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 861-886, March.
    18. Pedro de Faria & Francisco Lima, 2012. "Interdependence and spillovers: is firm performance affected by others’ innovation activities?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(36), pages 4765-4775, December.
    19. Keller, Wolfgang, 2002. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 5-24, March.
    20. Castillo, Victoria & Figal-Garone, Lucas & Maffioli, Alessandro & Rojo, Sofia & Stucchi, Rodolfo, 2016. "The Effects of Knowledge Spillovers through Labor Mobility," MPRA Paper 69141, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1119-1135.. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Oxford University Press to update the entry or send us the correct address or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.