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

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg
  • Donald Siegel

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2901.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2901.

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Date of creation: Mar 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Economic Inquiry, Vol. 29 No.2, pp. 203-229, (April 1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2901
Note: PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. 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 543-65, June.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  3. Kim B. Clark & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 393-416 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-73, December.
  5. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Policy Responses to the Productivity Slowdown," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 555, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. 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 179-92, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-12, December.
  9. 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.
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