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R&D and Non-Linear Productivity Growth of Heterogeneous Firms

The present paper studies the relationship between R&D investment and firm productivity growth by explicitly accounting for non-linearities in the R&D-productivity relationship and inter-sectoral firm heterogeneity. In order to address these issues, we employ a two step estimation approach, and match two firm-level panel data sets for the OECD countries, which allow us to relax both the linearity and homogeneity assumptions of the canonical Griliches (1979) knowledge capital model. Our results suggest that: (i) R&D investment increases firm productivity with an average elasticity of 0.15; (ii) the impact of R&D investment on firm productivity is differential at different levels of R&D intensity – the productivity elasticity ranges from -0.02 for low levels of R&D intensity to 0.33 for high levels of R&D intensity; (iii) the relationship between R&D expenditures and productivity growth is non-linear, and only after a certain critical mass of R&D is reached, the productivity growth is significantly positive; (iv) there are important intersectoral differences with respect to R&D investment and firm productivity – high-tech sectors’ firms not only invest more in R&D, but also achieve more in terms of productivity gains connected with research activities.

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File URL: http://iri.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/10180/ee9bf20a-acb1-4a5b-9c3c-90366db3b3d9
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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 2012-06.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ipt:wpaper:201206
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  1. d'Artis Kancs & Pavel Ciaian, 2011. "Modelling the Flow of Knowledge and Human Capital: A Framework of Innovative Capital," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2011_21, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  2. 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.
  3. P. Geroski, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 271-294, June.
  4. Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Ortega-Argilés, Raquel & Potters, Lesley & Vivarelli, Marco & Voigt, Peter, 2009. "Corporate R&D and Firm Efficiency: Evidence from Europe’s Top R&D Investors," IZA Discussion Papers 4657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hanel, Petr & Rosa, Julio Miguel, 2011. "Evaluating the impact of R&D tax credits on innovation: A microeconometric study on Canadian firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 217-229, March.
  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. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Von Ehrlich, Maximilian, 2012. "Too much of a good thing? On the growth effects of the EU's regional policy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 70, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  9. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  10. Moncada-Paternò-Castello, Pietro & Ciupagea, Constantin & Smith, Keith & Tübke, Alexander & Tubbs, Mike, 2010. "Does Europe perform too little corporate R&D? A comparison of EU and non-EU corporate R&D performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 523-536, May.
  11. Chang, Chia-Lin & Robin, Stéphane, 2008. "Public policy, innovation and total factor productivity: An application to Taiwan's manufacturing industry," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 352-367.
  12. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2004. "The Importance of R&D for Innovation: A Reassessment Using French Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 10897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Cincera, Michele, 1997. "Patents, R&D, and Technological Spillovers at the Firm Level: Some Evidence from Econometric Count Models for Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 265-80, May-June.
  14. repec:wip:wpaper:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  16. Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419.
  17. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu, . "Threshold effects in product R&D decisions: theoretical framework and empirical analysis," Studies on the Spanish Economy 45, FEDEA.
  18. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers, 2010. "Untested Assumptions and Data Slicing: A Critical Review of Firm-Level Production Function Estimators," Economics Series Working Papers 513, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  19. Aminata SISSOKO, 2011. "R&D Subsidies And Firm-Level Productivity: Evidence From France," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 24 Oct 2013.
  20. Ilke Van Beveren, 2012. "Total Factor Productivity Estimation: A Practical Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 98-128, 02.
  21. Francesco Bogliacino, 2014. "Innovation and employment: A firm level analysis with European R&D Scoreboard data," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 15(2), pages 141_154.
  22. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1991. "Comparing Productivity Growth: An Exploration of French and U.S. Industrial and Firm Data," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 45-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Ulrich Doraszelski & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2013. "R&D and Productivity: Estimating Endogenous Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1338-1383.
  24. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2009. "The knowledge production of 'R' and 'D'," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 141-143, October.
  25. Fabrizio, Kira R., 2009. "Absorptive capacity and the search for innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 255-267, March.
  26. Lesley Potters, 2009. "R&D in low-tech sectors," JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2009-8, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  27. 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.
  28. Mosahid Khan & Kul B. Luintel & Konstantinos Theodoris, 2010. "How Robust is the R&D – Productivity relationship? Evidence from OECD Countries," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 01, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Dec 2010.
  29. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  30. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2002. "The determinants of national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 899-933, August.
  31. Harhoff, Dietmar, 1994. "R&D and productivity in German manufacturing firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 94-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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