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Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries

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  • Rachel Griffith

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Stephen Redding

    (Centre for Economic Performance and London School of Economics)

  • John Van Reenen

    (Centre for Economic Performance and London School of Economics)

Abstract

Many writers have claimed that research and development (R&D) has two faces. In addition to the conventional role of stimulating innovation, R&D enhances technology transfer (absorptive capacity). We explore this idea empirically using a panel of industries across twelve OECD countries. We find R&D to be statistically and economically important in both technological catch-up and innovation. Human capital also plays an major role in productivity growth, but we only find a small effect of trade. In failing to take account of R&D-based absorptive capacity, existing U.S.-based studies may underestimate the return to R&D. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:4:p:883-895
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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