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Beyond the R&D effects on innovation: the contribution of non-R&D activities to TFP growth in the EU


  • Jesus Lopez-Rodriguez

    () (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective)

  • Diego Martinez

    () (University Pablo Olavide)


A significant part of the innovation efforts carried out across very heterogeneous economies in Europe is under the form of Non-R&D innovation activities. But the traditional macro approach to the determinants of TFP does not handle this issue appropiately. This paper has proposed and estimated an augmented macro-theoretical model to the determinants of total factor productivity (TFP) by jointly considering the effects of R&D endowments and the impact of Non-R&D innovation activities on …firms´ levels of productivity. The estimation of the model for a sample of EU26 countries covering the period 2004-2008 shows that the distinction between R&D and Non-R&D endowments really matters for a number of different issues. First, the results show a sizable differential impact of these endowments on TFP growth, being the impact of R&D twice as big as the impact of Non-R&D. Second, absorptive capacity is only linked to R&D endowments. And third, the two types of endowments cannot strictly been seen as complements at least for the case of countries with high R&D intensities or high Non-R&D intensities.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Lopez-Rodriguez & Diego Martinez, 2014. "Beyond the R&D effects on innovation: the contribution of non-R&D activities to TFP growth in the EU," Working Papers 2014/16, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-16

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Endogenous Innovation in the Theory of Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
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    6. Peters, Bettina & Lööf, Hans & Janz, Norbert, 2003. "Firm Level Innovation and Productivity: Is there a Common Story Across Countries?," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-26, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    12. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation And Productivity: An Econometric Analysis At The Firm Level," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 115-158.
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    14. Ganna Vakhitova & Tetyana Pavlenko, 2010. "Innovation and Productivity: a Firm Level Study of Ukrainian Manufacturing Sector," Discussion Papers 27, Kyiv School of Economics.
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    More about this item


    TFP; R&D; Non-R&D expenditures; EU countries;

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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