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International Comparisons of R&D Expenditure: Does an R&D PPP Make a Difference?

  • Sean M. Dougherty
  • Robert Inklaar
  • Robert H. McGuckin
  • Bart van Ark

Purchasing power parities (PPPs) for R&D expenditure in 19 manufacturing industries are developed for France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom relative to the United States for the years 1997 and 1987. These PPPs are based on R&D input prices for specific cost categories and differ substantially from current practice of comparing R&D expenditure using GDP PPPs and deflators. After taking into account differences in the relative price of R&D labor and materials, separate PPPs for other R&D cost categories are less essential, and a simpler version using GDP PPPs for these other categories should suffice. Our preferred PPPs are used to compare international R&D costs and intensity. The results suggest that the efforts devoted to R&D in each country are more similar across countries than is apparent using the nominal R&D intensities that are currently the norm.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12829.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: published as International Comparisons of R&D Expenditure: Does an R&D PPP Make a Difference? , Sean M. Dougherty, Robert Inklaar, Robert H. McGuckin, Bart van Ark. in Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches , Berndt and Hulten. 2007
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12829
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  1. Charles R. Hulten & Edwin R. Dean & Michael J. Harper, 2001. "New Developments in Productivity Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult01-1.
  2. Robert H. McGuckin & Bart van Ark & Sean M. Dougherty & Robert Inklaar, 2006. "Appendices to Internationally Comparable Science, Technology and Competitiveness Indicators," Economics Program Working Papers 06-01, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  3. Inklaar, Robert & Wu, Harry & Ark, Bart van, 2003. ""Losing ground" : Japanese labour productivity and unit laboour cost manufacturing in comparison to the U.S," GGDC Research Memorandum 200364, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
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