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The Impact of Firm’s R&D Strategy on Profit and Productivity

Author

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  • Johansson, Börje

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

  • Lööf, Hans

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

Abstract

This paper investigates how a firm’s R&D strategy influences the firm performance as measured by productivity and profitability. A formal production model is introduced to define and interpret alternative ways of measuring the impact of R&D. Studying 1,767 randomly selected firms from the Swedish manufacturing sector, the main findings are: (i) firms which apply persistent R&D perform better than firms with occasional as well as no R&D, (ii) occasional R&D is associated with lower performance than no R&D, and (iii) in quantile regressions the positive effect from R&D persistency is lacking for low productivity firms (lowest quartile) indicating a non-linear response. Moreover, the analysis recognises the different roles of ordinary and knowledge labour in production when specifying alternative performance measures and when identifying knowledge labour as a firm’s R&D capacity, which has a highly significant impact on firm performance. Introducing a formal production model in order to define and interpret alternative ways of measuring the impact of R&D, we apply simple ordinary OLS and quantile regressions on the economic model for analyzing the importance for a particular R&D strategy on firms’ productivity and profitability. To the best of our knowledge, we believe that the main findings of the analysis make contributions to the R&D literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson, Börje & Lööf, Hans, 2008. "The Impact of Firm’s R&D Strategy on Profit and Productivity," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 156, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Borje Johansson & Hans Loof, 2008. "Innovation Activities Explained By Firm Attributes And Location," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(6), pages 533-552.
    2. Tor Jakob Klette & Frode Johansen, 1998. "Accumulation of R&D Capital and Dynamic Firm Performance: A Not-So-Fixed Effect Model," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 49-50, pages 389-419.
    3. Nadiri, M Ishaq & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1996. "Estimation of the Depreciation Rate of Physical and R&D Capital in the U.S. Total Manufacturing Sector," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 43-56, January.
    4. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
    5. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-243, May.
    6. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297-297.
    7. 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.
    8. Martin Andersson & Börje Johansson, 2008. "Innovation Ideas and Regional Characteristics: Product Innovations and Export Entrepreneurship by Firms in Swedish Regions," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 193-224.
    9. Andersson, Martin & Johansson, Börje & Karlsson, Charlie & Lööf, Hans, 2008. "Multinationals in the Knowledge Economy - a case study of AstraZeneca in Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 154, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    10. Eklund, Johan & Wiberg, Daniel, 2007. "Persistence of profits and the systematic search for knowledge - R&D links to firm above-norm profits," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 85, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergman, Karin, 2011. "Internal and External R&D and Productivity – Evidence from Swedish Firm-Level Data," Working Papers 2011:27, Lund University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D; productivity; profit; innovation; production analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • L19 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Other
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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