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The R&D drop in European utilities. Should we care about it?

Sterlacchini, Alessandro (2006): The R&D drop in European utilities. Should we care about it? Published in: DRUID Working Paper No. No. 06-19 (2006)

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Abstract

By using accounting data from the largest utility companies of Europe, this note illustrates the recent R&D performance in energy and telecommunication. Although not all the companies under consideration behaved symmetrically, most of them reduced substantially their R&D investment. Over the period 2000-05, their total R&D expenditures at current prices decreased by 33%, while their R&D intensity (on sales) diminished from 1.1 to 0.7%. In discussing the above findings, it is argued that a drop of this size is hardly justifiable and weakens the EU economy in a non-negligible manner.

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