NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Measuring the Returns to R&D

Bronwyn H. Hall, Jacques Mairesse, Pierre Mohnen

NBER Working Paper No. 15622
Issued in December 2009
NBER Program(s):   PR

We review the econometric literature on measuring the returns to R&D. The theoretical frameworks that have been used are outlined, followed by an extensive discussion of measurement and econometric issues that arise when estimating the models. We then provide a series of tables summarizing the major results that have been obtained and conclude with a presentation of R&D spillover returns measurement. In general, the private returns to R&D are strongly positive and somewhat higher than those for ordinary capital, while the social returns are even higher, although variable and imprecisely measured in many cases.

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