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International Competition and U.S. R&D Subsidies: A Quantitative Welfare Analysis

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  • Giammario Impullitti

Abstract

The geographical distribution of R&D investment changes dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1970s U.S. firms are the uncontested world leaders in R&D investment in most manufacturing sectors. Later, led by Japan and Europe, foreign firms start challenging American R&D leadership in many sectors of the economy. In this period of increasing competition we also observe a substantial increase in the U.S. R&D subsidy. In a version of the multi-country quality ladder growth model I study the effects of foreign R&D competition on domestic welfare and on the optimal R&D subsidy. I build a new empirical index of international R&D rivalry that can be used to perform quantitative analysis in this type of frameworks. In a calibrated version of the model I focus on the period 1979-1991 and perform the following quantitative exercises: first, I evaluate the quantitative effects of the observed increase in foreign R&D competition on U.S. welfare. I find that the positive growth effect and the negative business-stealing effect of foreign competition on U.S. welfare substantially balance each other, and the overall welfare effect of competition is negligible - less then 1 percent of per-capita consumption. Moreover, using estimates of the effective U.S. R&D subsidy rate, I compute the distance from optimality of the observed subsidy at each level of competition. I find that international competition increases the optimal subsidy and that, surprisingly, the U.S. subsidy observed in the data is fairly close to the optimal subsidy.

Suggested Citation

  • Giammario Impullitti, 2008. "International Competition and U.S. R&D Subsidies: A Quantitative Welfare Analysis," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/11, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2008/11
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    Cited by:

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    2. A. Minniti & F. Venturini, 2014. "R&D Policy and Schumpeterian Growth: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers wp945, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Michael D. Koenig & Xiaodong Liu & Yves Zenou, 2014. "R&D Networks: Theory, Empirics and Policy Implications," Discussion Papers 13-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    4. Mehdi Chowdhury & Arijit Mukherjee, 2016. "Labour Market Integration and Innovation: The Implications on Consumers," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(6), pages 771-794, December.
    5. Nicolas Serrano-Velarde & Douglas Hanley & Ufuk Akcigit, 2012. "Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth," 2012 Meeting Papers 665, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Tatsuro Iwaisako, 2017. "Welfare Effects of Patent Protection in a Semi-Endogenous Growth Model," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-27, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    7. Richard M. H. Suen, 2013. "Research Policy and U.S. Economic Growth," Working papers 2013-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    8. Yumiko Taba & Yasunori Ishii, 2016. "Product R&D Investment Policies in an International Duopoly," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 574-582, May.
    9. repec:red:issued:17-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Daniele Tavani & Luca Zamparelli, 2013. "Endogenous Technical Change, Employment and Distribution in the Goodwin Model," IMK Working Paper 127-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
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    13. Ufuk Akcigit, 2017. "Innovation and Trade Policy in a Globalizing World," 2017 Meeting Papers 1627, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Nicolas Serrano-Velarde & Douglas Hanley & Ufuk Akcigit, 2011. "Back to Basics: Private and Public Investment in Basic R&D and Macroeconomic Growth," 2011 Meeting Papers 1196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Giammario Impullitti, 2007. "International Schumpeterian Competition and Optimal R&D subsidies," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/55, European University Institute.
    16. Wolf-Heimo Grieben & Fuat Sener, 2009. "Labor Unions, Globalization, and Mercantilism," CESifo Working Paper Series 2889, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. repec:zur:econwp:142 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, 2010. "Government Spending Composition, Technical Change, and Wage Inequality," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1325-1358, December.
    19. Julien Berthoumieu & Viola Lamani, 2016. "Vertical Differentiation, Uncertainty, Product R&D and Policy Instruments in a North-South Duopoly," Working Papers hal-01285559, HAL.
    20. Angus Chu & Guido Cozzi, 2018. "Effects of Patents versus R&D subsidies on Income Inequality"," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 68-84, July.
    21. Giammario Impullitti, 2016. "Global Innovation Races, Offshoring and Wage Inequality," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 171-202, February.
    22. Afonso, Oscar, 2012. "The impact of public goods and services and public R&D on the non-observed economy size, wages inequality and growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1996-2004.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international competition; R&D-driven growth theory; strategic R&D policy; international trade and growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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