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Is Capital Optimally Allocated in the Overall Process of European Innovation ?


  • Ugur Muldur


[eng] During the last ten years, many specialists have emphasised the weakness of the EU's technological performance both relative to its scientific performance and to the technological performance of the United States. There is a consensus today in Europe that the explanation for this weakness lies essentially in organisational, political or cultural factors. The author proposes in this paper a complementary explanation : while he recognises the importance of all these factors, he suggests that inefficient allocation of funds is an explicative factor for the low level of return obtained from the European research and innovation system. He carries out a comparative analysis of investments made in EU and in the US in research, innovation and dissemination of results during the last three decades. Having observed increasing investment gaps between US and EU in different sectors and domains, he concludes that the optimisation of the system's organisation will only have a positive effect on technological performance if at one and the same time, the inadequate level and the inappropriate distribution of European investment in these fields is addressed. [fre] Au cours de ces dix dernières années, de nombreux spécialistes ont souligné la faiblesse des performances technologiques de l'Union européenne au regard aussi bien de ses propres performances scientifiques que des performances technologiques des États-Unis. Il existe aujourd'hui en Europe un certain consensus pour expliquer cette faiblesse essentiellement par des facteurs organisationnels, politiques ou culturels. L'auteur propose une approche complémentaire dans cette contribution : tout en reconnaissant l'importance des autres facteurs, il met en avant l'allocation inefficiente des fonds comme facteur explicatif du faible rendement du système européen de recherche et d'innovation. Il procède à une analyse comparative des investissements effectués en Europe et aux États-Unis en matière de recherche, d'innovation et de diffusion technologique au cours de ces trente dernières années. Après avoir observé des écarts d'investissement croissants entre les États-Unis et l'UE dans de nombreux domaines et secteurs, il conclut que l'optimisation de l'organisation du système européen de recherche et d'innovation peut avoir d'effet positif sur les performances technologiques que si l'on modifie en même temps l'ampleur et la répartition des investissements européens effectués dans ce domaine.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugur Muldur, 2001. "Is Capital Optimally Allocated in the Overall Process of European Innovation ?," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 94(1), pages 115-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2001_num_94_1_1783
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2001.1783

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean Belin & Marianne Guille, 2008. "R&D et innovation en France : quel financement pour les entreprises de la Défense ?," Innovations, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 33-59.
    2. Adrian S. Petrescu, 2009. "Science and Technology for Economic Growth. New Insights from when the Data Contradicts Desktop Models -super-1," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 26(6), pages 839-880, November.

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