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Mapping the two faces of R&D : productivity growth in a panel of OECD industries

  • Rachel Griffith
  • Stephen Redding
  • John Van Reenen

Many writers have claimed that R&D has two 'faces'. In addition to the conventional role of stimulating innovation, R&D enhances technology transfer by improving the ability of firms to learn about advances in the leading edge ('absorptive capacity'). In this paper we document that there has been convergence of TFP within a panel of industries across thirteen OECD countries since 1970. Furthermore, we find evidence that both R&D and human capital appear statistically and economically important in this catch up process as well as stimulating innovation directly. Trade, by contrast, plays a more modest role in productivity growth.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 784.

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Length: 79 pages
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:784
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  1. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
  2. James Harrigan, 1998. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Staff Reports 36, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Wolfgang Keller, 1999. "How Trade Patterns and Technology Flows Affect Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 6990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie & Frank Lichtenberg, 2001. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Transfer Technology Across Borders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 490-497, August.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity across Industries and Countries: Time Series Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 135-46, February.
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  8. Sveikauskas, Leo, 1981. "Technological Inputs and Multifactor Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 275-82, May.
  9. Denny, Michael & Fuss, Melvyn, 1983. "A general approach to intertemporal and interspatial productivity comparisons," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 315-330, December.
  10. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  11. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2000. "Productivity Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 2498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1998. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Patent Citation," Papers 11-98, Tel Aviv.
  14. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
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  18. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1245-1279 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  21. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
  22. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  23. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:2:p:563-606 is not listed on IDEAS
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  25. Topel, Robert, 1999. "Labor markets and economic growth," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 44, pages 2943-2984 Elsevier.
  26. Bernard, Andrew B. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1996. "Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 161-173.
  27. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  28. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta & Dirk Pilat, 1996. "Mark-Up Ratios in Manufacturing Industries: Estimates for 14 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 162, OECD Publishing.
  29. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
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