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Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth

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  • Ufuk Akcigit
  • Douglas Hanley
  • Nicolas Serrano-Velarde

Abstract

This paper introduces a general equilibrium model of endogenous technical change through basic and applied research. Basic research differs from applied research in the nature and the magnitude of the generated spillovers. We propose a novel way of empirically identifying these spillovers and embed them in a framework with private firms and a public research sector. After characterizing the equilibrium, we estimate our model using micro-level data on research expenditures by French firms. Our key finding is that standard innovation policies (e.g., uniform R&D tax credits) can accentuate the dynamic misallocation in the economy by oversubsidizing applied research. Policies geared towards public basic research and its transmission to the private sector are significantly welfare improving.

Suggested Citation

  • Ufuk Akcigit & Douglas Hanley & Nicolas Serrano-Velarde, 2013. "Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth," NBER Working Papers 19473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19473
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L78 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Government Policy
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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