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On the Relationship between R&D and Productivity: a Treatment Effect Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Giuseppe Medda

    (University of Cagliari, Italy.)

  • Claudio Piga

    (Business School, University of Nottingham, UK.)

  • Donald S. Siegel

    () (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA)

Abstract

This study uses firm level data from two detailed surveys of Italian manufacturing firms to study the relationship between R&D expenditures and productivity growth. The analysis considers the different contributions of various forms of R&D (product, process, internal, external in collaboration with universities, research centres and other firms) to Total Factor Productivity (TFP). Thus, this paper answers the call for more research on the links between a firm's external R&D and its productivity. In the cross-section econometric analysis, we estimate a Treatment Effects model based on the assumption that the decision to carry out R&D is endogenous. We found evidence supporting such a methodological approach. The main results reveal a positive and statistically significant relationship between the detailed measures of R&D and TFP. It is noteworthy that among external R&D investments, only expenditures for projects run in collaboration with other firms turn out to be highly significant, while cooperation in R&D with universities does not seem to lead to productivity enhancements. Because of the public good nature of research, firms may resort to do R&D within laboratories run by universities only when the outcome of the research does not have important strategic consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Medda & Claudio Piga & Donald S. Siegel, 2003. "On the Relationship between R&D and Productivity: a Treatment Effect Analysis," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0307, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0307
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna & Guidi, Francesco, 2016. "R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2069-2086.
    2. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Measuring the Returns to R&D," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    3. Jarle Møen & Helge Sandvig Thorsen, 2017. "Publication Bias in the Returns to R&D Literature," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(3), pages 987-1013, September.
    4. G. Medda & C. Piga, 2004. "R&S e spillover industriali: un'analisi sulle imprese italiane," Working Paper CRENoS 200406, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    5. Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2013. "R&D, knowledge, economic growth and the transatlantic productivity gap," Chapters,in: Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography, chapter 11, pages 271-302 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Lo, Chu-Ping, 2011. "Global outsourcing or foreign direct investment: Why apple chose outsourcing for the iPod," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 163-169.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • 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

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