R&D Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the Firm Level
Jacques Mairesse, Mohamed Sassenou
NBER Working Paper No. 3666
This paper surveys econometric studies investigating the relationship between R&D and productivity at the firm level and assesses the results obtained so far and some of the problems encountered. The findings reviewed fall naturally into three major categories: based on the cross-sectional or time-series dimensions of the data and specified in terms of the elasticity of R&D or the rate of return to R&D. In view of the problems involved in modeling the effects of R&D on productivity and in measuring the appropriate variables, it is an agreeable surprise that most studies have managed to produce statistically significant and frequently plausible estimates. However, many of the current studies are not fully comparable and their results still leave much to be desired. The task of achieving progress is an arduous one.