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The Determinants of Pharmaceutical R&D Expenditures: Evidence from Japan


  • Mahlich, Jörg C.

    () (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich)

  • Roediger-Schluga, Thomas

    () (ARC Systems Research)


During the past 20 years, the world pharmaceutical industry has experienced a dramatic increase in R&D intensity. We apply and extend a model developed by Grabowski and Vernon (2000) with a pooled data sample of the 15 publicly listed Japanese drug firms for the period 1987 to 1998. As in the reference paper, we find expected returns to be an important determinant of R&D spending in the Japanese drug industry, albeit considerably smaller than in the U.S., which is particularly obvious in the case of returns from newly introduced drugs. However, our results are sensitive to econometric model specification, in particular to controlling for serial correlation and to a dynamic specification of the baseline model. Likewise, estimates on financial constraints are sensitive to model specification, indicating that Japanese drug firms face small or no financial constraints. Our results are consistent with the general literature on R&D investment behaviour, yet raise some methodological questions with regard to the original study.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahlich, Jörg C. & Roediger-Schluga, Thomas, 2006. "The Determinants of Pharmaceutical R&D Expenditures: Evidence from Japan," MERIT Working Papers 015, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2006015

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    6. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1992. "Investment and Research and Development at the Firm Level: Does the Source of Financing Matter?," NBER Working Papers 4096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Henry Grabowski & John Vernon, 2000. "The determinants of pharmaceutical research and development expenditures," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 201-215.
    11. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    12. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:rvmgts:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11846-016-0218-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bastian Rake, 2017. "Determinants of pharmaceutical innovation: the role of technological opportunities revisited," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 691-727, September.
    3. Desiderio Romero-Jordán & María Delgado-Rodríguez & Inmaculada Álvarez-Ayuso & Sonia Lucas-Santos, 2014. "Assessment of the public tools used to promote R&D investment in Spanish SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 959-976, December.
    4. Evens Salies, 2010. "A Test of the Schumpeterian Hypothesis in a Panel of European Electric Utilities," Chapters,in: Innovation, Economic Growth and the Firm, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Jörg Mahlich, 2010. "Patents and performance in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry: An institution-based view," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 99-113, March.
    6. Civan Abdulkadir & Maloney Michael T., 2009. "The Effect of Price on Pharmaceutical R&D," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, April.
    7. Barrenho, E & Smith, PC & Miraldo, M, 2013. "The determinants of attrition in drug development: a duration analysis," Working Papers 12204, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.

    More about this item


    R&D; investment; panel data estimation; pharmaceuticals; Japan;

    JEL classification:

    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • 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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