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R&D and absorptive capacity : theory and empirical evidence

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This paper presents a single unified framework that integrates the theoretical literature on Schumpeterian endogenous growth and major strands of the empirical literatures on R&D, productivity growth, and productivity convergence. Starting from a structural model of endogenous growth following Aghion and Howitt (1992), (1998), we provide microeconomic foundations for the reduced-form equations for Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth frequently estimated empirically using industry-level data. R&D affects both innovation and the assimilation of others’ discoveries (‘absorptive capacity’). Long-run cross-country differences in productivity emerge endogenously, and the analysis implies that many existing studies underestimate R&D’s social rate of return by neglecting absorptive capacity.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/209/1/scan7style.pdf

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