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Science, R&D, And Invention Potential Recharge: U.S. Evidence

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  • James D Adams

Abstract

The influence of academic science on industrial R&D seems to have increased in recent years compared with the pre-World War II period. This paper outlines an approach to tracing this influence using a panel of 14 R&D performing industries from 1961-1986. The results indicate an elasticity between real R&D and indicators of stocks of academic science of about 0.6. This elasticity is significant controlling for industry effects. However, the elasticity declines from its level during the 1961-1973 subperiod, when it was 2.2, to 0.5 during the 1974-1986 subperiod. Reasons for the decline include exogenous and endogenous exhaustion of invention potential, and declining incentives to do R&D stemming from a weakening of intellectual property rights. The growth of R&D since the mid-1980s suggests a restoration of R&D incentives in still more recent times.

Suggested Citation

  • James D Adams, 1993. "Science, R&D, And Invention Potential Recharge: U.S. Evidence," Working Papers 93-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:93-2
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    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Feenstra, Robert C & Markusen, James R & Zeile, William, 1992. "Accounting for Growth with New Inputs: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 415-421, May.
    4. Evenson, Robert E & Kislev, Yoav, 1976. "A Stochastic Model of Applied Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 265-281, April.
    5. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
    6. Kortum, Samuel, 1993. "Equilibrium R&D and the Patent-R&D Ratio: U.S. Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 450-457, May.
    7. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Adams & Zvi Griliches, 1996. "Measuring Science: An Exploration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1749, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Cohen, Wesley M., 2010. "Fifty Years of Empirical Studies of Innovative Activity and Performance," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    3. Klenow, Peter J., 1996. "Industry innovation: where and why," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 125-150, June.

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    Keywords

    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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