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Channels of R & D Spillovers: An Empirical Investigation

  • Harabi, N.

R&D spillovers are, potentially, a major source of endogenous growth in various recent "new growthJ theory" models. The purpose of this paper is to investigate empirically the effectiveness of various channels of R&D spillovers. The analysis is based on a survey conducted among 358 Swiss R&D executives representing 127 different lines of business, mainly in the manufacturing sector. The results can be summarized as follows: 1. Undertaking independent R&D was perceived by the R&D executives questioned as the most effective channel of R&D spillovers at the intra-industry level. This was followed by reverse engineering for product innovations and the utilization of publications and information from technical meetings for process innovations. 2. Learning methods that rely on interpersonal communication were judged as moderately effective in the following order of importance: 1. publications and technical meetings, 2. conversations with employees from innovating firms, and 3. hiring away employees from innovating firms. Especially the last method is not valued as effective in the Swiss context. 3. Learning methods related to the patent system - licensing technology and patent disclosures in the patent office were seen as moderately effective or not effective at all 4. The effectiveness of the various channels of R&D spillovers varies from one industry to another. 5. Finally results of the methods of multivariate statistical analysis (correlation, principal components and cluster analysis) suggested that the various channels of R&D spillovers could be reduced to subgroups, so that patterns of learning of competitive technology could be established

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Paper provided by Universitat Zurich - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut in its series Papers with number 37.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:zuriwi:37
Contact details of provider: Postal: Swizerland; University of Zurich, Economic Department, Raemistrasse 71 8006 Zurich, Switzerland. 25p.
Web page: http://www.oec.uzh.ch/

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  1. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Griliches, Zvi, 1992. " The Search for R&D Spillovers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S29-47, Supplemen.
  4. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, 1993. "Scale, Scope and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in the Pharmaceutical Industry," NBER Working Papers 4466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
  6. James D Adams & Adam B Jaffe, 1994. "The Span of the Effect of R&D in the Firm and Industry," Working Papers 94-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Audretsch, David B & Vivarelli, Marco, 1994. "Small Firms and R&D Spillovers: Evidence from Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Harabi, Najib, 1995. "Appropriability of technical innovations an empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 981-992, November.
  9. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 1990. "Recherche-Développement et productivité : un survol de la littérature économétrique," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 237(1), pages 99-108.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International RandD Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Endogenous Innovation in the Theory of Growth," NBER Working Papers 4527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Audretsch, David B. & Feldman, Maryann P., 2004. "Knowledge spillovers and the geography of innovation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 61, pages 2713-2739 Elsevier.
  13. 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.
  14. Bernstein, Jeffrey I, 1989. "The Structure of Canadian Inter-industry R&D Spillovers, and the Rates of Return to R&D," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 315-28, March.
  15. 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.
  16. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Levin, Richard C, 1988. "Appropriability, R&D Spending, and Technological Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 424-28, May.
  18. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
  19. Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," Working Papers 93-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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