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The Impact of R&D Investment On Productivity - New Evidence Using Linked R&D-LRD Data

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  • Frank R. Lichtenberg
  • Donald Siegel

Abstract

This paper uses confidential Census longitudinal microdata to examine the association between R&D and productivity for the period 1972.1985. These data allow for significant improvements in measurement and model specification, yielding more precise estimates of the returns to R&D. Our results confirm the findings of existing studies: 1) positive returns to R&D investment 2) higher returns to company-financed research 3) a productivity "premium" on basic research These results are robust to our attempts to adjust for "influential" outliers. Also, it appears that the return to company-financed R&D (but not total R&D) is an increasing function of firm size.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg & Donald Siegel, 1989. "The Impact of R&D Investment On Productivity - New Evidence Using Linked R&D-LRD Data," NBER Working Papers 2901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2901
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Policy Responses to the Productivity Slowdown," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 555, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 134-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
    4. Cohen, Wesley M & Levin, Richard C & Mowery, David C, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-examination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 543-565, June.
    5. Minasian, Jora R, 1969. "Research and Development, Production Functions, and Rates of Return," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 80-85, May.
    6. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-1112, December.
    8. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stern, Robert M & Baum, Christopher F & Greene, Mark N, 1979. "Evidence on Structural Change in the Demand for Aggregate U.S. Imports and Exports," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 179-192, February.
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