Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

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

Olof Ejermo () and Astrid Kander ()
Additional contact information
Olof Ejermo: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Astrid Kander: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

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

JEL-codes: O30

21 pages, October 1, 2006

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