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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 allows 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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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. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2004. "The Importance of R&D for Innovation : A Reassessment Using French Survey Data," Working Papers 2004-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Geroski, Paul A, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2009. "The knowledge production of 'R' and 'D'," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 141-143, October.
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  7. Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello & Constantin Ciupagea & Keith Smith & Alexander Tübke & Mike Tubbs, 2009. "Does Europe perform too little corporate R&D? A comparison of EU and non-EU corporate R&D performance," JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2009-11, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  8. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Comparing Productivity Growth: An Exploration of French and U.S. Industrial and Firm Data," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 157-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
  10. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli, 2009. "Is Corporate R&D Investment in High-Tech Sectors More Effective?," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises0955, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Luintel, Kul B & Khan, Mosahid & Theodoridis, Konstantinos, 2010. "How Robust is the R&D-Productivity relationship? Evidence from OECD Countries," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2010/7, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  14. 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.
  15. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  16. Dietmar Harhoff, 1998. "R&D and Productivity in German Manufacturing Firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 29-50.
  17. Fabrizio, Kira R., 2009. "Absorptive capacity and the search for innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 255-267, March.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Ilke Van Beveren, 2007. "Total factor productivity estimation: A practical review," LICOS Discussion Papers 18207, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  22. 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).
  23. 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.
  24. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu, . "Threshold effects in product R&D decisions: theoretical framework and empirical analysis," Studies on the Spanish Economy 78, FEDEA.
  25. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  26. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  27. 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).
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  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. 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.
  32. repec:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:4:p:1338-1383 is not listed on IDEAS
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