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CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University

No 2006/9:
Trends in R&D, innovation and productivity in Sweden 1985-2002

Olof Ejermo () and Astrid Kander ()

Abstract: We use a new, comprehensive database covering Swedish industry and service firms 1985-2002, to examine trends in the ratio between patenting and R&D (PR-ratio). There is a fall in PR-ratios in the long run (1985-2002) on the aggregate level and for all sectors. In general low-tech sectors perform better in terms of PR-ratios than high-tech sectors. A fall in the PR-ratio could be offset by increasing patent quality. We use two indicators of quality in this paper: forward citations and family size. The quality-adjusted PR-ratios also fall in the long run, but unlike the raw PR-ratio that falls drastically after 1997, the fall only takes place in the first half of the period (1985-1994), and then levels out. There is thus strong correlation between the Swedish economic growth performance and the quality-adjusted PR-ratios. The trend in the quality adjusted PR-ratio is mainly driven by the Paper, pulp and paper products industry together with R&D in science, engineering and medicine. We find high correlation between quality-adjusted-patents and R&D at the sector level, but not between quality-adjusted-patents and growth in value added or labour productivity.

Keywords: patents; quality-adjustment; R&D; time trends; productivity; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: O30; (follow links to similar papers)

21 pages, October 1, 2006

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