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Depreciation Estimation, R&D Capital Stock, and North American Manufacturing Productivity Growth

In: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches


  • Jeffrey Bernstein
  • Theofanis P. Mamuneas


This paper estimates R&D depreciation rates for the U.S. and Canadian manufacturing sectors. We find that R&D capital depreciates at a rate of 25 percent in the U.S., and in Canada the rate is 24 percent. Thus R&D capital depreciates at virtually the same rate in both countries. We also estimate similar user costs of R&D capital. This result implies that the marginal returns to R&D are equal in the two countries. Based on the new measures of R&D capital, factor price elasticities are estimated. For U.S. manufacturing a 1 percent increase in the R&D user cost leads to a 0.80 percent reduction in the demand for R&D capital, while for Canada the own R&D elasticity is significantly more inelastic at 0.14 percent. R&D growth contributes to TFP growth. In the U.S., R&D accounts for about 10 percent of annual productivity, while in Canada the contribution is around 6 percent.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Bernstein & Theofanis P. Mamuneas, 2010. "Depreciation Estimation, R&D Capital Stock, and North American Manufacturing Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 383-404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12240

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Buyse & Freddy Heylen & Ruben Schoonackers, 2015. "On The Role Of Public Policies And Wage Formation For Private Investment In R&D: A Long-Run Panel Analysis," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 15/911, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Beck, Mathias & Junge, Martin & Kaiser, Ulrich, 2017. "Public Funding and Corporate Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 11196, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Chinloy, Peter & Jiang, Cheng & John, Kose, 2020. "Investment, depreciation and obsolescence of R&D," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    4. Thomas Strobel, 2012. "New evidence on the sources of EU countries’ productivity growth—industry growth differences from R&D and competition," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 293-325, August.
    5. Bettina Becker, 2013. "The Determinants of R&D Investment: A Survey of the Empirical Research," Discussion Paper Series 2013_09, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2013.

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