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R&D and productivity in the US and the EU : Sectoral specificities and differences in the crisis

Castellani, Davide LU ; Piva, Mariacristina; Schubert, Torben LU and Vivarelli, Marco (2019) In Technological Forecasting and Social Change 138. p.279-291
Abstract

Using data on the US and EU top R&D spenders from 2004 until 2012, this paper investigates the sources of the US/EU productivity gap. We find robust evidence that US firms have a higher capacity to translate R&D into productivity gains (especially in the high-tech macro sector), and this contributes to explaining the higher productivity of US firms. Conversely, EU firms are more likely to achieve productivity gains through capital-embodied technological change, at least in the medium- and low-tech macro sectors. Our results also show that the US/EU productivity gap has worsened during the crisis period, as the EU companies have been more affected by the economic crisis in their capacity to translate R&D investments into... (More)

Using data on the US and EU top R&D spenders from 2004 until 2012, this paper investigates the sources of the US/EU productivity gap. We find robust evidence that US firms have a higher capacity to translate R&D into productivity gains (especially in the high-tech macro sector), and this contributes to explaining the higher productivity of US firms. Conversely, EU firms are more likely to achieve productivity gains through capital-embodied technological change, at least in the medium- and low-tech macro sectors. Our results also show that the US/EU productivity gap has worsened during the crisis period, as the EU companies have been more affected by the economic crisis in their capacity to translate R&D investments into productivity. Based on these findings, we make a case for a learning-based and selective R&D funding, which, instead of purely aiming at stimulating higher R&D expenditures, works on improving the firms’ capabilities to transform R&D into productivity gains.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Economic crisis, EU, Productivity, R&D, US
in
Technological Forecasting and Social Change
volume
138
pages
13 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055135419
ISSN
0040-1625
DOI
10.1016/j.techfore.2018.10.001
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7ac49844-2586-4070-878b-6e6a44227132
date added to LUP
2018-12-07 14:46:25
date last changed
2019-03-19 04:03:24
@article{7ac49844-2586-4070-878b-6e6a44227132,
  abstract     = {<p>Using data on the US and EU top R&amp;D spenders from 2004 until 2012, this paper investigates the sources of the US/EU productivity gap. We find robust evidence that US firms have a higher capacity to translate R&amp;D into productivity gains (especially in the high-tech macro sector), and this contributes to explaining the higher productivity of US firms. Conversely, EU firms are more likely to achieve productivity gains through capital-embodied technological change, at least in the medium- and low-tech macro sectors. Our results also show that the US/EU productivity gap has worsened during the crisis period, as the EU companies have been more affected by the economic crisis in their capacity to translate R&amp;D investments into productivity. Based on these findings, we make a case for a learning-based and selective R&amp;D funding, which, instead of purely aiming at stimulating higher R&amp;D expenditures, works on improving the firms’ capabilities to transform R&amp;D into productivity gains.</p>},
  author       = {Castellani, Davide and Piva, Mariacristina and Schubert, Torben and Vivarelli, Marco},
  issn         = {0040-1625},
  keyword      = {Economic crisis,EU,Productivity,R&D,US},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {279--291},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Technological Forecasting and Social Change},
  title        = {R&D and productivity in the US and the EU : Sectoral specificities and differences in the crisis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.10.001},
  volume       = {138},
  year         = {2019},
}