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EU-US differences in the size of R&D intensive firms

The average firm size of the top R&D investors among US-based companies is smaller than that of the EU-based firms. Does this help to explain why the US has a greater R&D intensity, or is the higher firm size in the EU, just as its lower R&D intensity, determined by the sectors in which the top R&D investors are operating? Using data on the top-R&D investors from the 2006 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, the size differential between R&D performers in the EU and US is more closely examined. A first observation is that, despite great differences between sectors, the overall distribution of companies' R&D investments in both economies is remarkably similar, as opposed to the distribution of the R&D/sales ratios of the same two sets of companies. The notion that size plays a role, independent of the sectoral composition of R&D, is then confirmed by regression analysis. In the US as well as in the EU, smaller sized Scoreboard companies tend to spend a larger proportion of their income from sales on R&D.

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File URL: http://iri.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/10180/b4d6ef15-efcf-435a-8846-304abcd1f1d7
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Paper provided by Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre in its series JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation with number 2009-2.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ipt:wpaper:20092
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