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Endogenizing Know-How Flows Through the Nature of R&D Investments

  • Cassiman, Bruno
  • Pérez-Castrillo, J David
  • Veugelers, Reinhilde

In this Paper we carefully link knowledge flows to and from a firm’s innovation process with this firm’s investment decisions. Three types of investments are considered: investments in applied research, investments in basic research, and investments in intellectual property protection. Only when basic research is performed, can the firm effectively access incoming knowledge flows and these incoming spillovers serve to increase the efficiency of own applied research. The firm can at the same time influence outgoing knowledge flows, improving appropriability of its innovations, by investing in protection. Our results indicate that firms with small budgets for innovation will not invest in basic research. This occurs in the short run, when the budget for know-how creation is restricted, or in the long run, when market opportunities are low, when legal protection is not very important, or, when the pool of accessible and relevant external know-how is limited. The ratio of basic to applied research is non-decreasing in the size of the pool of accessible external know-how, the size and opportunity of the market, and, the effectiveness of intellectual property rights protection. This indicates the existence of economies of scale in basic research due to external market related factors. Empirical evidence from a sample of innovative manufacturing firms in Belgium confirms the economies of scale in basic research as a consequence of the firm’s capacity to access external knowledge flows and to protect intellectual property, as well as the complementarity between legal and strategic investments.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2622.

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Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2622
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  1. De Bondt, Raymond & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 1991. "Strategic investment with spillovers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 345-366, October.
  2. AMIR, Rabah & WOODERS, John, 1997. "One-way spillovers, endogenous innovator/imitator roles and research joint ventures," CORE Discussion Papers 1997027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Zvi Griliches, 1991. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 3768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 2000. "Meet me halfway: research joint ventures and absorptive capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 995-1012, October.
  5. Miravete, Eugenio J. & Pernias, Jose C., 1998. "Innovation Complementarity and Scale of Production," Working Papers 98-42, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  9. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Rønde, Thomas, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment and Spillovers through Workers' Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Katsoulacos, Yannis & Ulph, David, 1998. "Endogenous Spillovers and the Performance of Research Joint Ventures," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 333-57, September.
  11. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  12. Harabi, N., 1995. "Channels of R & D Spillovers: An Empirical Investigation," Papers 37, Universitat Zurich - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut.
  13. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2003. "Endogenous Technological Spillovers: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 179-205, 06.
  14. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, 1996. "Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 32-59, Spring.
  15. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-23, December.
  16. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  17. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1990. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 165-174, April.
  18. Kamien, Morton I & Muller, Eitan & Zang, Israel, 1992. "Research Joint Ventures and R&D Cartels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1293-306, December.
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