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Learning through experience in Research & Development: an empirical analysis with Spanish firms

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  • Pilar Beneito

    (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)

  • María E. Rochina-Barrachina

    (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)

  • Amparo Sanchis

    (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the role of learning through experience in Research and Development (R&D) activities in strengthening firms’ capabilities to achieve innovation outcomes. Using a production function approach, we estimate a count-data model using a panel dataset of Spanish manufacturing firms for the period 1990-2006. We find that the number of years of engagement in R&D activities is positively associated with the achievement of product innovations. Our results highlight that experience in R&D is an additional technological asset to be considered for a good management practice. In particular our findings indicate that the relationship between firms’ R&D experience and product innovations is non-linear, that is, that experience has a positive effect on the probability to achieve product innovations, but at a decreasing rate. In addition, our results suggest that, although large firms are more efficient than SMEs in converting R&D investment into product innovations, SMEs obtain more efficiency gains from R&D experience than large firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Pilar Beneito & María E. Rochina-Barrachina & Amparo Sanchis, 2013. "Learning through experience in Research & Development: an empirical analysis with Spanish firms," Working Papers 1302, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  • Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1302
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    Cited by:

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    2. O'Kane, Conor & Mangematin, Vincent & Zhang, Jing A. & Cunningham, James A., 2020. "How university-based principal investigators shape a hybrid role identity," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    3. Mañez, J.A. & Love, J.H., 2020. "Quantifying sunk costs and learning effects in R&D persistence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(7).
    4. Thompson, Mark James & Woerter, Martin, 2020. "Competition and invention quality: Evidence from Swiss firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    5. Labeaga, José M. & Martínez-Ros, Ester & Sanchis, Amparo & Sanchis, Juan A., 2021. "Does persistence in using R&D tax credits help to achieve product innovations?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 173(C).
    6. Wang, Qian & Du, Zhuo-Ya, 2022. "Changing the impact of banking concentration on corporate innovation: The moderating effect of digital transformation," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    7. Sunil Kanwar & Shailu Singh, 2016. "The Innovation-R&D Nexus- Evidence from the Indian Manufacturing Sector," Working papers 265, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.

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    Keywords

    R&D experience; learning; product innovation; count data; SMEs;
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