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R&D and Productivity in German Manufacturing Firms

  • Dietmar Harhoff

This papcr uses a new firm panel data set to explore the relationship between R&D and productivity in German manufacturing firms for the period from 1979 to 1989. The results confirm the view that K&D is an important determinant of productivity growth. In the cross-section, the elasticity of sales with respect to R&D capital is on the order of 14 per cent. Using fixed-effects estimators yields R&D elasticities of about 8 per cent. Assuming different depreciation rates for R&D capital has virtually no effect on these results. Differencing estimates improve considerably when growth rates are computed over longer time periods, suggesting that the divergence between time-series and cross-sectional estimates is driven by random measurement errors. The paper also considers differences between high technology and other firms. Cross-section and panel elasticity estimates of the R&D effect diverge considerably for the two groups, while the corresponding rate of return estimators display far less variation. There is some evidence that the R&D elasticity increased during the early 1980s, and that it fell sharply back to its 1979 value during the period from 1985 to 1989.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 6 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 29-50

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:6:y:1998:i:1:p:29-50
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  1. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 1992. "Exploring the Relationship Between R&D and Productivity in French Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jacques Mairesse & Mohamed Sassenou, 1991. "R&D Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 3666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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