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R&D investment, productivity and rates of return: A meta-analysis of the evidence on OECD firms and industries

Author

Listed:
  • Ugur, Mehmet
  • Guidi, Francesco
  • Solomon, Edna
  • Trushin, Eshref

Abstract

The volume of work on productivity effects of research and development (R&D) investment has expanded significantly following the contributions of Zvi Griliches and others to microeconometric work in late 1970s and early 1980s. This study aims to meta-analyse the research findings based on OECD firm and industry data, with a view to establish where the balance of the evidence lies and what factors may explain the variation in reported evidence. Drawing on 1,262 estimates from 64 primary studies, we report that the average effect of R&D capital on productivity and the average rate of return on R&D investment are both positive, but smaller than the summary measures reported in previous narrative reviews and meta-analysis studies. We also report that a range of moderating factors have significant effects on the variation among productivity and rates-of-return estimates reported in primary studies. Moderating factors with significant effects include: (i) measurement of inputs and output; (ii) model specifications; (iii) estimation methods; (iv) levels of analysis; (v) countries covered; and (vi) publication type among others.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugur, Mehmet & Guidi, Francesco & Solomon, Edna & Trushin, Eshref, 2014. "R&D investment, productivity and rates of return: A meta-analysis of the evidence on OECD firms and industries," MPRA Paper 59686, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Oct 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:59686
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/59686/1/MPRA_paper_59686.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    2. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E. & Mairesse, J., 1998. "Research Investment, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.15, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    3. T. D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 2005. "Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Surveys," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 299-308, July.
    4. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 347-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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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    8. Dietmar Harhoff, 1998. "R&D and Productivity in German Manufacturing Firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 29-50.
    9. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1993. "Industrial Research during the 1980s: Did the Rate of Return Fall?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2 Microec), pages 289-343.
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    16. Petr Hanel, 2000. "R&D, Interindustry and International Technology Spillovers and the Total Factor Productivity Growth of Manufacturing Industries in Canada, 1974-1989," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 345-361.
    17. Griliches, Zvi, 1980. "R & D and the Productivity Slowdown," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 343-348, May.
    18. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Aiello & Lidia Mannarino & Valeria Pupo, 2017. "Innovation And Productivity In Family Firms: Evidence From A Sample Of European Firms," Working Papers 201706, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Research and Development (R&D); Innovation; Productivity; Firm; Industry; OECD; Meta-Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C49 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Other
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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