A simple theory and evidence on the determinants of firm R&D
This paper derives a simple, but informative, model of firm R&D to figure out key factors that determine firm R&D effort. The model suggests a demand-pull, technology-push theory of R&D by showing that a firm's profit-maximizing R&D expenditure is determined jointly by both demand-side factors and technology-side factors. The former includes demand size (firm sales) and consumer preference over quality and price and the latter includes R&D cost structure or the production-cost effect of product R&D and firm-specific technological competence. In addition, the model shows that other things being equal, the stock of exogenous technological knowledge, including the firm's previously accumulated technological knowledge, relevant to current R&D which is negatively related with current R&D effort. An empirical analysis of firm R&D intensities and technological capabilities of more than 1600 firms in nine industries across six countries provides supportive evidence for the theory. Further, the theory implies that R&D intensity or the R&D-to-sales ratio is independent of firm size unless firm size affects technological competence and that given consumer preference and R&D cost structure facing all firms in the same industry, the distribution of firm-specific technological competence among firms determines the distribution of firm R&D intensities within the industry.
Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/GEIN20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/GEIN20|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
- Adam B. Jaffe, 1986.
"Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value,"
NBER Working Papers
1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Scherer, F M, 1982. "Demand-Pull and Technological Invention: Schmookler Revisited," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 225-37, March.
- Needham, Douglas, 1975. "Market Structure and Firms' R & D Behavior," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 241-55, June.
- Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1992. "The Anatomy of Industry R&D Intensity Distributions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 773-99, September.
- Schmookler, Jacob, 1962. "Economic Sources of Inventive Activity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(01), pages 1-20, March.
- Chang-Yang Lee, 2002. "A simple model of R&D: An extension of the Dorfman-Steiner theorem," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(7), pages 449-452.
- Mowery, David & Rosenberg, Nathan, 1979. "The influence of market demand upon innovation: a critical review of some recent empirical studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 102-153, April.
- Goldman, M. & Ergas, H. & Ralph, E. & Felker, G., 1997. "Technology Institutions and Policies. Their Role in Developing Technological Capability in Industry," Papers 383, World Bank - Technical Papers.
- Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard C. Levin & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1993.
"On the Sources and Significance of Interindustry Differences in Technological Opportunities,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1052, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
- Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:12:y:2003:i:5:p:385-395. 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: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.