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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 inter-sectoral 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 KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 12-315.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:12-315
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  1. Subal Kumbhakar & Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli & Peter Voigt, 2012. "Corporate R&D and firm efficiency: evidence from Europe’s top R&D investors," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 125-140, April.
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  3. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter & von Ehrlich, Maximilian, 2010. "Too much of a good thing? On the growth effects of the EU's regional policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Fabrizio, Kira R., 2009. "Absorptive capacity and the search for innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 255-267, March.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Geroski, Paul A, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. D'Artis Kancs & Pavel Ciaian, 2011. "Modelling the flow of knowledge and human capital: a framework of innovative capital," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1/2/3), pages 134-160.
  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. 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. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2005. "The Importance of R&D for Innovation: A Reassessment Using French Survey Data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 183-197, 01.
  21. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu, . "Threshold effects in product R&D decisions: theoretical framework and empirical analysis," Studies on the Spanish Economy 78, FEDEA.
  27. 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.
  28. repec:wip:wpaper:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Thorwarth, Susanne & Kraft, Kornelius & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2008. "The Knowledge Production of 'R' and 'D'," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-046, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  32. repec:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:4:p:1338-1383 is not listed on IDEAS
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