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Does Europe perform too little corporate R&D? A comparison of EU and non-EU corporate R&D performance

Listed author(s):
  • Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello

    ()

    (European Commission - JRC)

  • Constantin Ciupagea

    ()

    (Institute of World Economy and Romanian Centre for Economic Modelling)

  • Keith Smith

    ()

    (Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania)

  • Alexander Tübke

    ()

    (European Commission - JRC)

  • Mike Tubbs

    (Innovomantex Ltd and Ashcroft International Business School)

This paper examines whether there are differences in private R&D investment performance between the EU and the US and, if so, why. The study is based on data from the 2008 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. The investigation assesses the effects of several very distinct factors that can determine the relative size of the overall R&D intensities of the two economies: these are the influence of sector composition (structural effect) vis-à-vis the intensity of R&D in each sector (intrinsic effect) and the company demographics. The paper finds that the lower overall corporate R&D intensity for the EU is the result of sector specialisation (structural effect) - the US has a stronger sectoral specialisation in the high R&D intensity (especially ICT-related) sectors than does the EU, and also has a much larger population of R&D investing firms within these sectors. Since aggregate R&D indicators are so closely dependent on industrial structures, many of the debates and claims about differences in comparative R&D performance are in effect about industrial structure rather than sector R&D performance. These have complex policy implications that are discussed in the closing section.

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File URL: http://iri.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/10180/eab3ef3b-5331-41df-b55c-9b2c66d443ed
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Paper provided by Joint Research Centre (Seville site) in its series JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation with number 2009-11.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Handle: RePEc:ipt:wpaper:200911
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  1. Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Employment and Technological Innovation: Evidence from U.K. Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 255-284, April.
  2. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
  3. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
  4. Bart van Ark & Robert Inklaar & Robert H. McGuckin, 2003. "ICT and Productivity in Europe and the United States Where Do the Differences Come From?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(3), pages 295-318.
  5. Kafouros, Mario I., 2008. "Economic returns to industrial research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 868-876, August.
  6. Luc Soete, 2007. "From Industrial to Innovation Policy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 273-284, December.
  7. Dominique Guellec & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2003. "R&D and Productivity Growth: Panel Data Analysis of 16 OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 103-126.
  8. Van Reenen, John, 1997. "Why has Britain had slower R&D growth?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 493-507, December.
  9. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-1547, September.
  10. Soete, Luc, 2006. "A Knowledge Economy Paradigm and its Consequences," MERIT Working Papers 001, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  11. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli, 2010. "Is Corporate R&D Investment In High-Tech Sectors More Effective?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 353-365, 07.
  12. Azele Mathieu & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2010. "A Note on the Drivers of R&D Intensity," Research in World Economy, Research in World Economy, Sciedu Press, vol. 1(1), pages 56-65, November.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Argentino Pessoa, 2007. "Innovation and Economic Growth: What is the actual importance of R&D?," FEP Working Papers 254, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  16. Martin Falk, 2004. "What Drives Business R&D Intensity Across OECD Countries?," WIFO Working Papers 236, WIFO.
  17. Jerry Sheehan & Andrew Wyckoff, 2003. "Targeting R&D: Economic and Policy Implications of Increasing R&D Spending," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/8, OECD Publishing.
  18. Florence Jaumotte & Nigel Pain, 2005. "Innovation in the Business Sector," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 459, OECD Publishing.
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