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What do we know about R&D spillovers and productivity? Meta-analysis evidence on heterogeneity and statistical power

What do we know about R&D spillovers and productivity? Meta-analysis evidence on heterogeneity and statistical power

Ugur, Mehmet ORCID: 0000-0003-3891-3641, Churchill, Sefa Awaworyi and Luong, Hoang M. (2019) What do we know about R&D spillovers and productivity? Meta-analysis evidence on heterogeneity and statistical power. Research Policy, 49 (1):103866. ISSN 0048-7333 (Print), 1873-7625 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2019.103866)

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Abstract

As Mohnen (1996: 40) has indicated, research and development (R&D) externalities is a two-sided theoretical issue. Its ‘dark’ side concerns the under-investment problem caused by non-appropriability of R&D benefits. On the ‘bright’ side, R&D spillovers are a source of productivity gains. Both aspects have been invoked to justify public support for R&D investment directly and indirectly. To establish whether public support can be justified due to productivity gains from spillovers, we meta-analyse 983 productivity estimates for spillovers and 501 estimates for own-R&D from 60 empirical studies. Our findings indicate that the average spillover effect is: (i) positive but heterogenous and smaller than what is reported in most narrative reviews; (ii) usually smaller than that of own-R&D capital; (iii) too small to be practically significant when evidence with adequate statistical power is considered. Controlling for observable sources of heterogeneity and best-practice research, the meta-effect is insignificant in the full sample but significant and large among OECD firms/industries/countries. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research and public support for R&D investment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Knowledge externalities, R&D spillovers, productivity, public policy, meta-analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA)
Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA) > Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC)
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2019 11:47
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/25423

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