IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/wpaper/halshs-00864011.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is financial support for private R&D always justified ? A discussion based on literature on growth

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Montmartin

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Nadine Massard

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Many economists have long held that market failures create a gap between social and private returns to Research and Development (R&D), thereby limiting private incentives to invest in R&D. However, this common belief that firms significantly underinvest in R&D is increasingly being challenged, leading the rationale behind public support for private R&D to be questioned. In this paper, we attempt to clarify the perspectives of two sources : the theoretical literature on endogenous growth, and its recent developments in integrating a geographical dimension, and the empirical literature that measures the social returns to R&D in relation to the private returns. Ultimately, we are able to clearly distinguish among different types of market failures and compare their relative impact on the gap between the private and social returns to R&D. Two main conclusions are reached. First, systematic firm underinvestment in R&D is not demonstrated. Second, even though instances of underinvestment do occur, they are mainly explained by surplus appropriability problems rather than by knowledge externalities. This suggests the need for a new policy mix that employs more demand-oriented instruments and is more concentrated on identifying efficient allocations among activities rather than merely increasing global private R&D investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Montmartin & Nadine Massard, 2013. "Is financial support for private R&D always justified ? A discussion based on literature on growth," Working Papers halshs-00864011, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00864011
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00864011
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00864011/document
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers & Hubert Strauss, 2013. "Do Spillovers Matter When Estimating Private Returns to R&D?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 436-448, May.
    2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    4. Autant-Bernard, Corinne & Fadairo, Muriel & Massard, Nadine, 2013. "Knowledge diffusion and innovation policies within the European regions: Challenges based on recent empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 196-210.
    5. Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
    6. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    7. Masahisa Fujita & Jacques-François Thisse, 2003. "Does Geographical Agglomeration Foster Economic Growth? And Who Gains and Loses from It?," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 121-145.
    8. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
    9. Walz, Uwe, 1996. "Transport costs, intermediate goods, and localized growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 671-695, December.
    10. Martin, Philippe & I.P. Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 1999. "Growing locations: Industry location in a model of endogenous growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 281-302, February.
    11. Alvarez-Pelaez, Maria J. & Groth, Christian, 2005. "Too little or too much R&D?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 437-456, February.
    12. Stéphane Riou, 2003. "How growth and location are sensitive to transport and telecommunication infrastructures ?," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 69(3), pages 241-265.
    13. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    14. Vincent Dupont & Philippe Martin, 2006. "Subsidies to poor regions and inequalities: some unpleasant arithmetic," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 223-240, April.
    15. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    16. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Interindustry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth: A Reexamination," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 241-250 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1998. "Measuring the Social Return to R&D," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1119-1135.
    18. Sami Dakhlia & Akram Temimi & Flavio Menezes, 2004. "A note on duplication of R&D and R&D subsidies," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(7), pages 1-5.
    19. Benjamin Montmartin, 2013. "Centralized R&D Subsidy Policy in an NEGG Model: A Welfare Analysis," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 79(1), pages 5-34.
    20. Tamura, Robert, 2006. "Human capital and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 26-72, February.
    21. Jakob Madsen, 2008. "Semi-endogenous versus Schumpeterian growth models: testing the knowledge production function using international data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-26, March.
    22. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:7:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Diego Comin, 2004. "R&D: A Small Contribution to Productivity Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-421, December.
    24. Autant-Bernard, Corinne & Guironnet, Jean-Pascal & Massard, Nadine, 2011. "Agglomeration and social return to R&D: Evidence from French plant productivity changes," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 34-42, July.
    25. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Ana Balcão Reis & Tiago Neves Sequeira, 2007. "Human Capital and Overinvestment in R&D," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(3), pages 573-591, September.
    27. Minniti, Antonio & Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo, 2011. "Trade integration and regional disparity in a model of scale-invariant growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 20-31, January.
    28. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 627-634, November.
    29. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
    30. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    31. Kenneth I. Carlaw & Richard G. Lipsey, 2003. "Productivity, Technology and Economic Growth: What is the Relationship?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 457-495, July.
    32. Thomas M. Steger, 2005. "Welfare Implications of Non-scale R&D-based Growth Models," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 737-757, December.
    33. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Martin, Philippe, 1999. "Public policies, regional inequalities and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 85-105, July.
    35. Aghion, Philippe & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1997. "Competition and growth with step-by-step innovation: An example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 771-782, April.
    36. Jonathan Temple, 2003. "The Long-Run implications of Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 497-510, July.
    37. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to R&D; Market failures; R&D-based growth; Economic Geography; R&D policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00864011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.