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R versus D: Estimating the differentiated effect of research and development on innovation results

Barge-Gil, Andrés and López, Alberto (2011): R versus D: Estimating the differentiated effect of research and development on innovation results.

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Abstract

R&D is considered to be the main source of innovation. We argue that R&D is too broad a measure, including activities differing in purposes, culture, people, management and other features. However, empirical studies have not analyzed them separately, mainly due to the lack of data. Using firm-level data, the aim of this paper is to estimate the differentiated effect of research and development on different innovation outputs. Results show that both research and development activities are important. However, we find that development activities are more important for product innovation, while the effect of research activities is higher on process innovation. Moreover, we analyze differences by technological intensity of the sector. When analyzing product and process innovations, we find evidence supporting the existence of higher payoffs to development and, especially to research in low-tech sectors when compared with high-tech ones.

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