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Returns on R&D investment: A comprehensive survey on the magnitude and evaluation methodologies

Author

Listed:
  • Andreia Cardoso

    () (UITT; INESC Porto)

  • Aurora A.C. Teixeira

    () (INESC Porto, CEFUP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

Abstract

As technology and innovation seem to be contingent upon each other a great deal of attention has been given to the importance of assessing the contribution of R&D investment to firm and industry performance and, ultimately, to the economic performance of countries and regions. In industrialised societies not only private but also public agents have allocated increasing amounts of their resources to R&D activities, often considered the key path to innovativeness. At the same time, due to advances in empirical research, increasingly more focused on the micro (firms) rather than on the macro (country) level, old myths about the relationship between R&D, innovation and success began to fall down. Firstly, the idea that innovation is much broader than R&D has gained large support and has made it possible to identify other sources of innovation, beyond excellence in R&D, which had been largely hidden or neglected. As result, perceptions about small firms - or the so-called low-tech industries, which either do not carry out any significant R&D activities or are likely to perform them outside formal classifications - started to change. Secondly, the idea that more R&D investment is always automatically bond to success - whatever criteria one may choose to define success – has become nothing more than a utopia. In this paper we carry out an analysis of the literature on the magnitude and evaluation of R&D, and, possibly, of innovation. We identify the methodologies used and analyse to what extent the magnitude of (eventual) R&D returns is dependent on the methodology pursued and the level of analysis - firms (micro), industry (meso), and regions/countries (macro) - considered. We conclude that methodological approaches and levels of analysis determine, to a certain extent, the type of results obtained and, thus, variances between them.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreia Cardoso & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2009. "Returns on R&D investment: A comprehensive survey on the magnitude and evaluation methodologies," UITT Working Papers 2009-03-wp1, INESC Porto, Unidade de Inovação e Transferência de Tecnologia(UITT).
  • Handle: RePEc:inc:wpaper:2009-03-wp1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-690, September.
    2. Aurora Teixeira & Natércia Fortuna, 2003. "Human Capital, Innovation Capability and Economic Growth," FEP Working Papers 131, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    3. repec:cmi:wpaper:cemi-report-2006-009 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
    5. Howells, Jeremy, 2005. "Innovation and regional economic development: A matter of perspective?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1220-1234, October.
    6. 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 315-328, March.
    7. Bougrain, Frederic & Haudeville, Bernard, 2002. "Innovation, collaboration and SMEs internal research capacities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 735-747, July.
    8. Del Monte, Alfredo & Papagni, Erasmo, 2003. "R&D and the growth of firms: empirical analysis of a panel of Italian firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1003-1014, June.
    9. Beñat Bilbao-Osorio & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2004. "From R&D to Innovation and Economic Growth in the EU," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 434-455.
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    Cited by:

    1. Westerberg, Hans Seerar, 2014. "The Return to R&D and Seller-buyer Interactions: A Quantile Regression Approach," Ratio Working Papers 231, The Ratio Institute.
    2. Ehie, Ike C. & Olibe, Kingsley, 2010. "The effect of R&D investment on firm value: An examination of US manufacturing and service industries," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 127-135, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovations and R&D indicators; Methodologies; Macro; meso and micro levels; R&D payoff;

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