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R&D and productivity: Estimating production functions when productivity is endogenous

  • Doraszelski, Ulrich
  • Jaumandreu, Jordi

We develop a simple estimator for production functions in the presence of endogenous productivity change that allows us to retrieve productivity and its relationship with R&D at the firm level. Our dynamic investment model can be viewed as a generalization of the knowledge capital model (Griliches 1979) that has remained a cornerstone of the productivity literature for more than 25 years. We relax the assumptions on the R&D process and examine the impact of the investment in knowledge on the productivity of firms. We illustrate our approach on an unbalanced panel of more than 1800 Spanish man- ufacturing firms in nine industries during the 1990s. Our ¯ndings indicate that the link between R&D and productivity is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, nonlinearity, and heterogeneity across firms. Abstracting from uncertainty and nonlinearity, as is done in the knowledge capital model, or assuming an exogenous process for productiv- ity, as is done in the recent literature on structural estimation of production functions, overlooks some of its most interesting features.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1246.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1246
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  2. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "An Exploration into the Determinants of Research Intensity," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 209-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu & Consuelo Pazo, 2005. "Barriers to Innovation and Subsidy Effectiveness," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 930-949, Winter.
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  27. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2002. "Spillovers in product and process innovation: evidence from manufacturing firms," UC3M Working papers. Economics we023213, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  28. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  29. John Van Reenen & Rupert Harrison & Rachel Griffith, 2006. "How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1859-1875, December.
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