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Assessing the Returns to Collaborative Research: Firm-Level Evidence from Italy

  • 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)

We use firm-level data from Italian manufacturing firms to assess the relationship between various types of R&D and total factor productivity growth, including collaborative research with other firms and universities. A novel twist to our empirical analysis is that we estimate a treatment effects model, which enables us to treat the decision to conduct R&D as endogenous. We find strong evidence of positive returns to collaborative research with companies, while collaborative research with universities does not appear to enhance productivity. This result implies that firms may conduct R&D with universities when appropriability conditions are weak and the outcomes of such research projects do not yield direct strategic benefits.

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Paper provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics in its series Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics with number 0416.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0416
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  8. Claudio Piga, 2002. "Debt and Firms' Relationships: The Italian Evidence," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 267-282, May.
  9. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-12, December.
  10. Claudio A. Piga & Marco Vivarelli, 2003. "Internal and External R&D: A Sample Selection Approach," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  11. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 1992. "Exploring the Relationship Between R&D and Productivity in French Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 3956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Returns to Research and Development Expenditures in the Private Sector," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 49-81 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. C. Piga & M. Vivarelli, 2003. "Sample selection in estimating the determinants of cooperative R&D," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 243-246.
  18. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 2000. "Meet me halfway: research joint ventures and absorptive capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 995-1012, October.
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  23. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Donald Siegel, 1989. "The Impact of R&D Investment On Productivity - New Evidence Using Linked R&D-LRD Data," NBER Working Papers 2901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Tether, Bruce S., 2002. "Who co-operates for innovation, and why: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 947-967, August.
  25. Rinaldo Evangelista & Simona Iammarino & Valeria Mastrostefano & Alberto Silvani, 2002. "Looking for Regional Systems of Innovation: Evidence from the Italian Innovation Survey," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 173-186.
  26. Paul, Catherine J Morrison & Siegel, Donald S, 2001. " The Impacts of Technology, Trade and Outsourcing on Employment and Labor Composition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 241-64, June.
  27. Siegel, Donald S. & Waldman, David & Link, Albert, 2003. "Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 27-48, January.
  28. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," Working Papers 93-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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