Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Trade Union Institute for Economic Research

No 200: Domestic vs. International Spillovers: Evidence from Swedish Firm Level Data

Andreas Poldahl ()
Additional contact information
Andreas Poldahl: ESI, Postal: Örebro University, and FIEF, Wallingatan 38, SE-111 24 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper investigates the association between total factor productivity growth and the R&D expenditures of Swedish manufacturing firms in the presence of domestic- and international R&D spillovers. The paper assumes that the principal channel of transmission of new technology is through I/O relations. Econometric evidence suggests that international as well as domestic inter-industry R&D spillovers are important determinants of firms’ productivity growth in the long run. The R&D spillovers generated within the industry and following I/O links seem to be of minor importance in explaining productivity growth. It seems likely that within-industry productivity spillovers follow other channels than I/O flows, such as horizontal spillovers through copying of new products and processes, or labour turnover. The use of a convergence parameter is one way to check for such within-industry technology flows. Our results indicate that a catch-up process exists by which the non-frontier firms in the Swedish manufacturing sector absorb knowledge spillovers from the leading firms in the industry. Finally, a firm’s own R&D efforts are found to be more or less positively correlated with the TFP growth, maybe the contribution from R&D efforts in some sense are underestimated.

Keywords: TFP growth; R&D expenditures; Convergence; R&D spillovers

JEL-codes: O31; O33

22 pages, December 17, 2004

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