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Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Nicolas Serrano-Velarde

    (Oxford University)

  • Douglas Hanley

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Ufuk Akcigit

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper introduces endogenous technical change through basic and applied research in a growth model. Basic research differs from applied research in two significant ways. First, significant advances in technological knowledge come through basic research rather than applied research. Second, these significant advances could potentially be applicable to multiple industries. Since these applications are not immediate, the innovating firm cannot exploit all the benefits of the basic innovations for production. We analyze the impact of this appropriability problem on firmsâ basic research incentives in an endogenous growth framework with private firms and an academic sector. After characterizing the equilibrium, we estimate our model using micro level data on research expenditures and behavior by French firms. We then decompose the aggregate growth by the source and type of innovation. Moreover, we quantitatively document the size of the underinvestment in basic research and consider various research policies to alleviate this inefficiency. Our analysis highlights the need for devoting a larger fraction of GDP for basic academic research, as well as higher subsidy rates for private research.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Serrano-Velarde & Douglas Hanley & Ufuk Akcigit, 2012. "Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth," 2012 Meeting Papers 665, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:665
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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