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R&D and productivity in German manufacturing firms

  • Harhoff, Dietmar

This paper uses a new firm panel data set to explore the relationship between R&D and productivity in German manufacturing firms for the period from 1979 to 1989. The results confirm the view that R&D is an important determinant of productivity growth. In the cross-section, the elasticity of sales with respect to R&D capital is on the order of 14 per cent. Using fixed-effects estimators yields R&D elasticities of about 8 per cent. Differencing estimates improve considerably when growth rates are computed over longer time periods, suggesting that the divergence between time-series and cross-sectional estimates is driven by measurement errors. The paper also considers differences between high-technology and other firms. Cross-section and panel elasticity estimates of the R&D effect diverge considerably for the two groups, while the corresponding rate of return estimators display far less variation. There is some evidence that the R&D elasticity increased during the early 80s, and that it fell sharply back to its 1979 value during the period from 1985 to 1989.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 94-01.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9401
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  1. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-61, July-Aug..
  2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jacques Mairesse & Mohamed Sassenou, 1991. "R&D Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 3666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
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