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

D. Castellani, M. Piva, T. Schubert, M. Vivarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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 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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-291
Number of pages13
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume138
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

JEL classifications

  • o32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
  • o47 - "Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence"

Keywords

  • Economic crisis
  • EU
  • Productivity
  • R&D
  • US
  • Europium
  • Technological forecasting
  • Uranium
  • High tech
  • Productivity gain
  • Technological change
  • economic development
  • European Union
  • financial crisis
  • firm ownership
  • productivity
  • research and development
  • Europe
  • United States
  • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
  • HIGH-TECH SECTORS
  • GROWTH
  • DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE
  • SKILLS
  • DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT
  • MANAGEMENT-PRACTICES
  • EUROPE
  • INNOVATIVE FIRMS
  • IMPACT

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