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Learning, internal research, and spillovers

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  • James Adams

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on the practice of industrial Research and Development (R&D), especially its allocation between learning and internal research, and the role of outside knowledge in reshaping this allocation. The evidence describes the sources of outside knowledge, portrays the flow of that knowledge into firms, and interprets the channels by which outside knowledge influences R&D. In this way, the paper illustrates R&D's value in dealing with disequilibria. The empirical work is based on a sample of 220 R&D laboratories owned by 115 firms in the US chemical, machinery, electrical equipment, and motor vehicle industries. The findings are consistent with the view that universities and firms generate technological opportunities in R&D laboratories. In addition to partnerships that define rather strict channels of opportunity, the paper uncovers broader effects of R&D spillovers. The results also suggest that academic spillovers drive learning about universities and that industrial spillovers drive learning about industries. Thus, externally derived opportunities reshape the rate and direction of R&D. Overall the findings paint an image of practitioners of industrial R&D reaching aggressively for opportunities rather than waiting for opportunities to come to them.

Suggested Citation

  • James Adams, 2006. "Learning, internal research, and spillovers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 5-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:5-36 DOI: 10.1080/1043859042000332178
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    2. Anders Broström, 2012. "Firms’ rationales for interaction with research universities and the principles for public co-funding," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, June.
    3. Cristiano Antonelli & Alessandra Colombelli, 2017. "The locus of knowledge externalities and the cost of knowledge," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 1151-1164.
    4. Antonelli, Cristiano & David, Paul, 2015. "The Useful Application of Knowledge: An Introduction," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201510, University of Turin.
    5. Aurora A.C. Teixeira & José Sequeira, 2009. "Determinants of the international influence of a R&D organisation: a bibliometric approach," FEP Working Papers 319, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    6. Galdeano-Gómez, Emilio & Céspedes-Lorente, José, 2008. "Environmental spillover effects on firm productivity and efficiency: An analysis of agri-food business in Southeast Spain," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 131-139, August.
    7. William H. Greene & David A. Hensher, 2008. "Modeling Ordered Choices: A Primer and Recent Developments," Working Papers 08-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Edler, Jakob & Fier, Heide & Grimpe, Christoph, 2011. "International scientist mobility and the locus of knowledge and technology transfer," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 791-805.
    9. Tobias Schmidt & Wolfgang Sofka, 2005. "Lost in Translation - Empirical Evidence for Liability of Foreignness as Barriers to Knowledge Spillovers," Industrial Organization 0512012, EconWPA.
    10. Dennis Patrick Leyden, 2016. "Universities as partners in research joint ventures," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(4), pages 449-462, December.
    11. Cohen, Wesley M., 2010. "Fifty Years of Empirical Studies of Innovative Activity and Performance," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    12. Schmidt, Tobias & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2009. "Knowledge sourcing: legitimacy deficits for MNC subsidiaries?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,09, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    13. Cristiano Antonelli & Francesco Crespi & Giuseppe Scellato, 2015. "Productivity growth persistence: firm strategies, size and system properties," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 129-147.

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