NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Luis Rios

Duke University

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2011The Organization of R&D in American Corporations: The Determinants and Consequences of Decentralization
with Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon: w17013
We study the relationship between decentralization of R&D, innovation and firm performance using a novel dataset on the organizational structure of 1,290 American publicly-listed corporations, 2,615 of their affiliate firms, as well as characteristics of 594,903 patents that they hold. We explore the tension between centralization and decentralization of R&D, which trades off between responsiveness to immediate and local business needs and the type of research that can benefit the firm as a whole. To do this, we develop two novel measures of decentralization. First, using intra-firm patent assignments, we distinguish between patents that are assigned to the inventing unit rather than to corporate headquarters. Second, we exploit the variation between firms which posses a central corporate ...
 
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