Using data on the US and EU top R&D spenders from 2004 until 2012, this paper investigates the sources of the US/EU productivity gap. We find robust evidence that US firms have a higher capacity to translate R&D into productivity gains (especially in the high-tech industries), and this contributes to explaining the higher productivity of US firms. Conversely, EU firms are more likely to achieve productivity gains through capital-embodied technological change at least in medium and low-tech sectors. Our results also show that the US/EU productivity gap has worsened during the crisis period, as the EU companies have been more affected by the economic crisis in their capacity to translate R&D investments into productivity. Based on these findings, we make a case for a learning-based and selective R&D funding, which - instead of purely aiming at stimulating higher R&D expenditures - works on improving the firms’ capabilities to transform R&D into productivity gains.

Castellani, D., Piva, M., Schubert, T., Vivarelli, M., R&D and Productivity in the US and the EU: Sectoral Specificities andDifferences in the Crisis, <<Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/15, Lund University,CIRCLE Centerfor Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy>>, 2016; 2016 (15): 1-29 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/95357]

R&D and Productivity in the US and the EU: Sectoral Specificities and Differences in the Crisis

Piva, Mariacristina;Vivarelli, Marco
2016

Abstract

Using data on the US and EU top R&D spenders from 2004 until 2012, this paper investigates the sources of the US/EU productivity gap. We find robust evidence that US firms have a higher capacity to translate R&D into productivity gains (especially in the high-tech industries), and this contributes to explaining the higher productivity of US firms. Conversely, EU firms are more likely to achieve productivity gains through capital-embodied technological change at least in medium and low-tech sectors. Our results also show that the US/EU productivity gap has worsened during the crisis period, as the EU companies have been more affected by the economic crisis in their capacity to translate R&D investments into productivity. Based on these findings, we make a case for a learning-based and selective R&D funding, which - instead of purely aiming at stimulating higher R&D expenditures - works on improving the firms’ capabilities to transform R&D into productivity gains.
eng
Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/15, Lund University, CIRCLE Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy
Castellani, D., Piva, M., Schubert, T., Vivarelli, M., R&D and Productivity in the US and the EU: Sectoral Specificities andDifferences in the Crisis, <>, 2016; 2016 (15): 1-29 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/95357]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10807/95357
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