The Organization of R&D - Sourcing Strategy, Financing and Relation to Trade

University dissertation from Department of Economics, Lund Universtiy

Abstract: This thesis deals with the organization of R&D from a micro perspective in order to get a better idea of how to generate economic growth in the long run. What kind of R&D policies should be promoted? This thesis contributes to the existing literature by investigating other data sets than before, by using more modern econometric techniques and by extending the investigated variables. Chapter 2 examines the role of foreign sales in stimulating R&D as compared to a domestic sales effect, and finds, in line with the literature, that R&D rises proportionally to sales in cross-sections from 1991 to 2001. Among manufacturing firms, foreign sales are distinctly more associated with an increase in R&D than domestic sales. For service firms, domestic sales are as important as foreign. The results are consistent with the hypotheses that manufacturing firms more easily separate production from R&D, economize on transport costs and are subject to learning-by-exporting effects. In general, the results highlight the dependence on openness in stimulating R&D in a small economy, especially among manufacturing firms. Chapter 3 uses a panel of Swedish manufacturing firms to examine the effects of internal and external R&D on total factor productivity over the period 1991-2004. The findings give some support to the notion of complementarity between internal and external R&D, especially in industries with high R&D intensities, and suggest that the employees’ level of education is important for the firm’s capabilities to absorb external R&D. However, external R&D is generally found to have a negative effect on productivity and internal R&D is only significant when not including interaction terms between internal R&D and external R&D or human capital. Chapter 4 examines the productivity effects of privately and publicly funded R&D, both performed in the private sector. In doing so, it ascertains whether there are differences in the direct effects on an industry’s total factor productivity growth, and whether the spillover effects of R&D performed in other industries within a country differ in terms of the two sources of funding. Using a panel of industries from 13 OECD countries, it is found that privately funded R&D has a positive productivity effect, but with diminishing returns. Publicly funded R&D shows signs of increasing returns to scale, but the total effect is negative for most industries in the sample. The results concerning spillover effects are less robust, but there is some evidence of positive spillover effects from privately funded R&D, whereas spillovers from publicly funded R&D have an insignificant or a negative effect on an industry’s productivity growth.

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