European Technology Policy
Jonathan Eaton, Eva Gutierrez, Samuel Kortum
NBER Working Paper No. 6827
European countries do less research than Japan and the United States. We use a quantitative multi-country growth model to ask: (i) Why is this so? (ii) Would there be any benefit to expanding research in Europe? (iii) What would various European research promotion policies do? We find that (i) Europe's lower research effort has more to do with the smaller markets facing European inventors than with lower research productivity. (ii) Europe has substantial research potential in that increased research effort in most European countries generates bigger income benefits there than increased effort in the United States and Japan of equivalent amounts. (iii) Policies to stimulate research in Europe raise productivity not only there but elsewhere. But a problem with pursuing these policies at the national level is the potential for free riding. A second possible problem with promoting research is distributional: While all countries within the European Union benefit, the countries that are already best at doing research, which tend to be the richer members, fare best. The benefits of policies that facilitate the adoption of innovations are more evenly spread.
Published: Economic Policy, Vol. 27 (October 1998): 405-438.