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Evidence on the Impact of R&D and ICT Investment on Innovation and Productivity in Italian Firms

  • Bronwyn H. Hall
  • Francesca Lotti
  • Jacques Mairesse

Both Research and Development (R&D) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investment have been identified as sources of relative innovation underperformance in Europe vis-à-vis the United States. In this paper we investigate R&D and ICT investment at the firm level in an effort to assess their relative importance and to what extent they are complements or substitutes. We use data on a large unbalanced panel data sample of Italian manufacturing firms constructed from four consecutive waves of a survey of manufacturing firms, together with a version of the CDM model (Crepon et al., 1998) that has been modified to include ICT investment and R&D as the two main inputs into innovation and productivity. We find that R&D and ICT are both strongly associated with innovation and productivity, with R&D being more important for innovation, and ICT investment being more important for productivity. For the median firm, rates of return to both investments are so high that they suggest considerably underinvestment in both these activities.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18053.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as Bronwyn H. Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2013. "Evidence on the impact of R&D and ICT investments on innovation and productivity in Italian firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 300-328, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18053
Note: PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Bronwyn Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2006. "Employment, innovation and productivity: evidence from Italian microdata," IFS Working Papers W06/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  3. Nathalie Greenana & Jacques Mairesse, 2000. "Computers And Productivity In France: Some Evidence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 275-315.
  4. Bruno Crépon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation and Productivity : An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Working Papers 98-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. repec:fth:inseep:9833 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity across Four European Countries," NBER Working Papers 12722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  8. Matteo Bugamelli & Patrizio Pagano, 2001. "Barriers to investment in ICT," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 420, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2003. "Multivariate probit regression using simulated maximum likelihood," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(3), pages 278-294, September.
  10. Bronwyn H. Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2009. "Innovation and productivity in SMEs. Empirical evidence for Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 718, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  11. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Financing of R&D and Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 012, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  12. Cequera, Daniel & Klein, Gordon J., 2008. "Endogenous Firm Heterogeneity, ICT and R&D Incentives," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-126, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Jacques Mairesse & Nathalie Greenan & Agnes Topiol-Bensaid, 2001. "Information Technology and Research and Development Impacts on Productivity and Skills: Looking for Correlations on French Firm Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Polder, Michael & Leeuwen, George van & Mohnen, Pierre & Raymond, Wladimir, 2009. "Productivity effects of innovation modes," MPRA Paper 18893, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E. & Mairesse, J., 1998. "Research Investment, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.15, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  16. Ark, Bart van & Inklaar, Robert & McGuckin, Robert H., 2003. "ICT and productivity in Europe and the United States," CCSO Working Papers 200311, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
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