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Schumpeterian Business Cycles with Pro-Cyclical R&D

  • Patrick Francois

    (University of British Columbia)

  • Huw Lloyd-Ellis

    (Queen's University)

Recent empirical work finds that R&D expenditures are quite procyclical, even for firms that are not credit-constrained during downturns. This has been taken as strong evidence against Schumpeterian-style theories of business cycles that emphasize the idea that downturns in production may be good times to allocate labor towards innovative activities. Here we argue that the procyclicality of R&D investment is, in fact, quite consistent with at least one of these theories. In our analysis, we emphasize three key features of R&D investment relative to other types of innovative activity: (1) it uses implemented knowledge intensively, (2) it is a long-term investment with uncertain applications and (3) it suffers from diminishing returns over time. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2009.02.004
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 567-591

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:07-53
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  1. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2010. "Redistributive shocks and productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 931-948, November.
  2. Philippe Aghion & George-Marios Angeletos & Abhijit Banerjee & Kalina Manova, 2005. "Volatility and Growth: Credit Constraints and Productivity-Enhancing Investment," NBER Working Papers 11349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Taiji Harashima, 2005. "The Pro-cyclical R&D Puzzle: Technology Shocks and Pro-cyclical R&D Expenditure," Macroeconomics 0507012, EconWPA, revised 12 Jul 2005.
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