IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Productivity Spillovers of R&D in Sweden


  • Ejermo, Olof

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)


Although Sweden is one of the most R&D-intensive OECD-countries, the importance of R&D spillovers in the country has not been systematically analyzed. This paper employs a cross-sectional dataset of 264 R&D-performing Swedish firms from 1996-97. With this set, knowledge production functions are estimated, where industry groups are treated as subsamples. In addition, 160,614 non R&D-performing firms are used to examine the effects of R&D spillovers also among non R&D-performers. The estimations use three different weight methods for R&D that spills over from other industries: two input-output measures and a technology flow matrix in the spirit of Jaffe (1986). The results indicate that R&D-performing firms gain in Total Factor Productivity from their own R&D. In two of the three weighing matrices spillovers from R&D result in higher Total Factor Productivity among R&D-performers. Among non R&D-performers, the Total Factor Productivity effect of R&D-spillovers is robustly positive and significant across specifications. Examination of the social returns of R&D from specific industries, one at a time, on other industries does not reveal substantial social effects beyond the effect on the own firm. It is reasoned that the most likely reason for the small size of R&D-spillovers rests in the Swedish corporate structure, with most R&D being conducted by large multinationals.

Suggested Citation

  • Ejermo, Olof, 2004. "Productivity Spillovers of R&D in Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 15, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0015

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    3. Synnove Vuori, 1997. "Interindustry Technology Flows and Productivity in Finnish Manufacturing," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 67-80.
    4. 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.
    5. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2000. "Does FDI Work as a Channel for R&D Spillovers? Evidence Based on Swedish Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 2469, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. 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.
    7. Wolff, Edward N. & Ishaq Nadiri, M., 1993. "Spillover effects, linkage structure, and research and development," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 315-331, December.
    8. Goldfarb, Brent & Henrekson, Magnus, 2003. "Bottom-up versus top-down policies towards the commercialization of university intellectual property," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 639-658, April.
    9. Goto, Akira & Suzuki, Kazuyuki, 1989. "R&D Capital, Rate of Return on R&D Investment and Spillover of R&D in Japanese Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 555-564, November.
    10. Bart Los & Bart Verspagen, 2000. "R&D spillovers and productivity: Evidence from U.S. manufacturing microdata," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 127-148.
    11. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders and Product Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 557-586.
    13. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
    14. Bart Verspagen, 1997. "Estimating international technology spillovers using technology flow matrices," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(2), pages 226-248, June.
    15. 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.
    16. 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 569-596, September.
    17. Edward Wolff, 1997. "Spillovers, Linkages and Technical Change," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 9-23.
    18. repec:hhs:iuiwop:553 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. 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)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Poldahl, Andreas, 2004. "Domestic vs. International Spillovers: Evidence from Swedish Firm Level Data," Working Paper Series 200, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Andersson, Martin & Ejermo, Olof, 2004. "Sectoral Knowledge Production in Swedish Regions 1993-1999," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 5, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    3. Martin Andersson & Olof Ejermo, 2005. "How does accessibility to knowledge sources affect the innovativeness of corporations?—evidence from Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 39(4), pages 741-765, December.
    4. Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Lessons for Canada from International Productivity Experience," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 20-37, Spring.
    5. Andreas Poldahl, 2006. "Domestic vs. International Spillovers: Evidence from Swedish Firm Level Data," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 277-294, December.

    More about this item


    Interindustry R&D spillovers; total factor productivity; rate of return to R&D; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:hhs:cesisp:0015. 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: (Vardan Hovsepyan). General contact details of provider: .

    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.