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Looking beyond the R&D effects on innovation: The contribution of non-R&D activities to total factor productivity growth in the EU

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  • jesus lopez-rodriguez
  • Diego Martinez

Abstract

Although non-R&D innovation activities account for a significant portion of innovation efforts carried out across very heterogeneous economies in Europe, how to incorporate them in to economic models is not always straightforward. For instance, the traditional macro approach to estimating the determinants of total factor productivity (TFP) does not handle them well. To counter these problems, this paper proposes applying an augmented macro-theoretical model to estimate the determinants of TFP by jointly considering the effects of R&D and the impact of non-R&D innovation activities on the productivity levels of firms. Estimations from a model of a sample of EU-26 countries covering the period 2004-2008 show that the distinction between R&D and non-R&D effects is significant for a number of diffffrent issues. First, the results show a sizable impact on TFP growth, as the impact of R&D is twice that of non-R&D. Second, absorptive capacity is only linked to R&D endowments. And third, the two types of endowments cannot strictly been seen as complementary, at least for the case of countries with high R&D intensities or high non-R&D intensities.

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  • jesus lopez-rodriguez & Diego Martinez, 2015. "Looking beyond the R&D effects on innovation: The contribution of non-R&D activities to total factor productivity growth in the EU," ERSA conference papers ersa15p1258, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa15p1258
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    2. Lopez-Rodriguez, Jesus & Martinez-Lopez, Diego, 2017. "Looking beyond the R&D effects on innovation: The contribution of non-R&D activities to total factor productivity growth in the EU," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 37-45.
    3. Zhang, Yijun & Li, Xiaoping & Song, Yi & Jiang, Feitao, 2021. "Can green industrial policy improve total factor productivity? Firm-level evidence from China," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 51-62.
    4. Smol, Marzena & Kulczycka, Joanna, 2019. "Towards innovations development in the European raw material sector by evolution of the knowledge triangle," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 453-462.
    5. Luo, Gongli & Wang, Xiaotong, 2023. "Spatial association network structure of eco-efficiency and its influencing factors: Evidence from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in China," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 475(C).
    6. Attila Lindner & Balazs Murakozy & Balazs Reizer & Ragnhild Schreiner, 2022. "Firm-level technological change and skill demand," CEP Discussion Papers dp1857, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Sang-Do Park, 2018. "The Nexus of FDI, R&D, and Human Capital on Chinese Sustainable Development: Evidence from a Two-Step Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(6), pages 1-23, June.
    8. Thomä, Jörg & Zimmermann, Volker, 2019. "Non-R&D, interactive learning and economic performance: Revisiting innovation in small and medium enterprises," ifh Working Papers 17/2019, Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh).
    9. Matias Braun & Luis Felipe Cespedes & Sebastian Bustos, 2021. "Innovation Strategy and Economic Development," Working Papers wp522, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    10. Zhong Xie & Guixue Zang & Feifei Wu, 2019. "On the Relationship between Innovation Activity and Manufacturing Upgrading of Emerging Countries: Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(5), pages 1-19, March.
    11. Lu, Xiaowei & Wang, Jiexiang, 2024. "Is innovation strategy a catalyst to solve social problems? The impact of R&D and non-R&D innovation strategies on the performance of social innovation-oriented firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 199(C).
    12. Hongfeng Zhang & Lu Huang & Yan Zhu & Hongyun Si & Xu He, 2021. "Does Low-Carbon City Construction Improve Total Factor Productivity? Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in China," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(22), pages 1-21, November.
    13. Chen, Jin & Heng, Cheng Suang & Tan, Bernard C.Y. & Lin, Zhijie, 2018. "The distinct signaling effects of R&D subsidy and non-R&D subsidy on IPO performance of IT entrepreneurial firms in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 108-120.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    TFP; R&D; non-R&D expenditures; EU countries.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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