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IR&D Project Data and Theories of R&D Investment

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

This paper analyzes data on a large sample of research and development (R&D) projects documented in the Defense Department's Independent R&O Data Bank, both to provide some stylized facts about R&O investment at the project level and to test the implications of a control-theoretical model developed by Grossman and Shapiro. We calculate moments of the marginal distributions and elasticities of cost with respect to time, by type of project (e.g. basic research, development), and discriminate between alternative hypothesis concerning the shape of the hazard function of R&D investment. Consistent with the major implication of the Grossman-Shapiro model, the rate of investment in a project tends to increase as the project approaches completion.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2720.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2720.

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Date of creation: Sep 1988
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Publication status: published as "IR&D Projected Data and Theories of R&D Investment." From Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 13, pp. 271-282, (1989).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2720
Note: PR
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1985. "Optimal Dynamic R&D Programs," NBER Working Papers 1658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1971. "Optimal Management of a Research and Development Project," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(11), pages 679-697, July.
  3. M. L. Weitzman & K. Roberts, 1979. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development and Exploration Projects," Working papers 234, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1988. "The Private R&D Investment Response to Federal Design and Technical Competitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 550-59, June.
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