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A global decline in research productivity? Evidence from China and Germany

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  • Böing, Philipp
  • Hünermund, Paul

Abstract

In a recent paper, Bloom et al. (2020) find evidence for a substantial decline in research productivity in the U.S. economy during the last 40 years. In this paper, we replicate their findings for China and Germany, using detailed firm-level data spanning three decades. Our results indicate that diminishing returns in idea production are a global phenomenon, not just confined to the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Böing, Philipp & Hünermund, Paul, 2020. "A global decline in research productivity? Evidence from China and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-030, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:20030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Gordon, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10544.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Charles I. Jones & John Van Reenen & Michael Webb, 2020. "Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(4), pages 1104-1144, April.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    4. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 2013. "Asia-phoria meet regression to the mean," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov, pages 1-35.
    5. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 217-273, Elsevier.
    6. Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "The Economics of Science - Funding for Research," ICER Working Papers 12-2010, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    7. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2011. "Technology Diffusion and Postwar Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 209-246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
    9. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
    10. Bettina Peters & Christian Rammer, 2013. "Innovation panel surveys in Germany," Chapters, in: Fred Gault (ed.), Handbook of Innovation Indicators and Measurement, chapter 6, pages 135-177, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2016. "Measuring patent quality in cross-country comparison," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 145-147.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henri Loubergé, 2021. "Tribute to Orio," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 46(2), pages 293-300, April.
    2. Ho, Jerry & Hoang, Vincent & Wilson, Clevo, 2020. "Government R&D Subsidies and International Competitiveness of Labor-managed Firms," MPRA Paper 106896, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Dec 2020.
    3. Naudé, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2021. "The Rise and Fall of German Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 14154, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Growth; Innovation; R&D; Technological Change;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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