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Identifying technology spillovers and product market rivalry

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  • Bloom, Nick
  • Schankerman, Mark
  • Van Reenen, John

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 a 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 productmarket 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

  • Bloom, Nick & Schankerman, Mark & Van Reenen, John, 2013. "Identifying technology spillovers and product market rivalry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 46852, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:46852
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    market value; patents; productivity; R&D; spillovers;
    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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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