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Identifying Technology Spillovers and Product Market Rivalry

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  • Nicholas Bloom
  • Mark Schankerman
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

The impact of R&D on growth through spillovers has been a major topic of economic research over the last thirty years. A central problem in the literature is that firm performance is affected by two countervailing "spillovers": a positive effect from technology (knowledge) spillovers and negative business stealing effects from product market rivals. We develop a general framework incorporating these two types of spillovers and implement this model using measures of a firm's position in technology space and product market space. Using panel data on U.S. firms we show that technology spillovers quantitatively dominate, so that the gross social returns to R&D are at least twice as high as the private returns. We identify the causal effect of R&D spillovers by using changes in Federal and state tax incentives for R&D. We also find that smaller firms generate lower social returns to R&D because they operate more in technological niches. Finally, we detail the desirable properties of an ideal spillover measure and how existing approaches, including our new Mahalanobis measure, compare to these criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Bloom & Mark Schankerman & John Van Reenen, 2005. "Identifying Technology Spillovers and Product Market Rivalry," CEP Discussion Papers dp0675, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0675
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spillovers; R&D; market value; patents; productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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