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Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level


  • Zvi Griliches
  • Jacques Mairesse


This paper analyzes the relationship between output, employment, and physical and R&D capital, for a sample of 133 large U.S. firms covering the years 1966 through 197. In the cross sectional dimension, there is a strong relationship between firm productivity and the level of its R&D invespments. In the time dimension, using deviations from fire means as obserrations and unconstrained estimation, this relationship bomes closa to vanishing. This may be due, in part, to the increase in collinearity between trend, physical capital, and R&D cap)tal in the within dimension, leaving little ildependent variability there. When the coefficients of the first two variables are constrained to reasonable values, the R&D coefficient is both sizeable and significant. The possibility of simultaneity between output and employment decisions in the short run is also investigated. Allowing for this via the use of a semi-reduced form equations system yields rather high estimates of the importance of R&D capital relative to physical capital. Our data do not allow us, however, to answer any detailed questions about the lag structure of the effects of R&D on productivity. These effects are apparently highly variable, both in timing and magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0826
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