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Driving forces for research and development strategies: an empirical analysis based on firm-level panel data


  • Martin Woerter


This paper investigates empirically different ways to organize research and development (R&D) within Swiss firms. Based on a longitudinal data set comprising three cross-sections (1999, 2002, and 2005) of the Swiss Innovation Survey, four different types of R&D strategies could have been separated; firms combine in-house R&D with R&D co-operations (coop) or in-house R&D with external R&D (buy), or they conduct in-house R&D, external R&D, and R&D co-operations (mixed), or they exclusively rely on in-house R&D (make). It is the aim of this paper to understand what drive firms to go for different strategies. Based on econometric estimations controlling for correlations between the dependent variables and endogeneity among the independent variables, it was found that concepts related to the absorptive capacity, incoming spillovers, and appropriability, the importance of different knowledge sources, the competitive environment, costs, and skill aspects as well as technological uncertainty are essential factors to determine a firm's decision to choose a specific way to organize R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Woerter, 2011. "Driving forces for research and development strategies: an empirical analysis based on firm-level panel data," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 611-636, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:20:y:2011:i:7:p:611-636 DOI: 10.1080/10438591003743738

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Masao Nakamura & Yannis Caloghirou & George Hondroyiannis & Nicholas S. Vonortas, 2003. "The performance of research partnerships," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2-3), pages 85-99.
    6. Mol, Michael J., 2005. "Does being R&D intensive still discourage outsourcing?: Evidence from Dutch manufacturing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 571-582, May.
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    8. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2002. "Complementarity in the Innovation Strategy: Internal R&D, External Technology Acquisition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Lopez, Alberto, 2008. "Determinants of R&D cooperation: Evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 113-136, January.
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    12. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2005. "The Governance Of Localized Knowledge: An Information Economics Approach For The Economics Of Knowledge," 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 200502, University of Turin.
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    14. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-121, January.
    15. Mohnen, Pierre & Rose, Antoine & Rosa, Julio, 2006. "Buying and Selling Research and Development Services, 1997 to 2002," MERIT Working Papers 018, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    16. Shapiro, Carl & Willig, Robert D, 1990. "On the Antitrust Treatment of Production Joint Ventures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 113-130, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Spyros Arvanitis, 2012. "How do different motives for R&D cooperation affect firm performance? – An analysis based on Swiss micro data," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 981-1007, November.
    2. Spyros Arvanitis, 2009. "How do different motives for R&D cooperation affect firm performance?," KOF Working papers 09-233, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    3. Spyros Arvanitis & Thomas Bolli, 2009. "A comparison of firm-level innovation cooperation in five European countries," KOF Working papers 09-232, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. Thomas Bolli & Martin Woerter, 2013. "Competition and R&D cooperation with universities and competitors," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 768-787, December.
    5. Spyros Arvanitis & Thomas Bolli, 2013. "A Comparison of National and International Innovation Cooperation in Five European Countries," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 43(3), pages 163-191, November.
    6. Martin Woerter, 2009. "Industry diversity and its impact on the innovation performance of firms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 675-700, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General


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