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Japanese Research Consortia: A Microeconometric Analysis of Industrial Policy

  • Lee Branstetter
  • Mariko Sakakibara
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    The existence of strong spillover' effects of private R&D increases the potential social contribution of R&D but may depress the private incentives to undertake it. R&D consortia offer a potentially effective means of internalizing this externality, and a number of prominent economists have argued for public support of such consortia (e.g., Romer, 1993). Governments in Europe and North America have adopted policies to promote the formation of such consortia, motivated less by economic theory than by the perception that the Japanese government has used such policies to great effect (Tyson, 1992). Despite the existence of a large theoretical literature analyzing the potential benefits and costs of R&D consortia, there has been little corresponding empirical work on their efficacy. In this paper, we undertake the first large-sample econometric study of Japanese government-sponsored research consortia which uses firm-level data on research inputs and outputs to measure the impact of participation on the ex-post research productivity of the firm. We are able to find evidence that frequent participation in these consortia has a positive impact on research expenditure and research productivity. These results hold after controlling for the potential endogeneity of the intensity of participation in consortia to participating firms' research productivity. Furthermore, we find evidence that part of this impact arises from the increased knowledge spillovers that take place within these consortia. Not only are

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6066.

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    Date of creation: Jun 1997
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    Publication status: published as Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 46, no. 2 (June 1998): 207-233.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6066
    Note: PR
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    1. Cockburn, Iain. & Henderson, Iain., 1994. "Racing to invest? : the dynamics of competition in ethical drug discovery," Working papers 3710-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Montalvo, Jose G. & Yafeh, Yishay, 1994. "A microeconometric analysis of technology transfer : The case of licensing agreements of Japanese firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 227-244, June.
    5. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, . "Scale, Scope and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," Working Papers ec25/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
    6. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Working Papers 518, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    7. Douglas A. Irwin & Peter J. Klenow, 1994. "High Tech R&D Subsidies: Estimating the Effects of Sematech," NBER Working Papers 4974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
    9. Sakakibara, Mariko, 1997. "Evaluating government-sponsored R&D consortia in Japan: who benefits and how?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 447-473, December.
    10. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
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