Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 254: The Growth Effects of R&D Spending in the EU: A Meta-Analysis

Ari Kokko (), Patrik Gustavsson Tingvall () and Josefin Videnord ()
Additional contact information
Ari Kokko: Copenhagen Business School
Patrik Gustavsson Tingvall: The Ratio institute and Söderturn university, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Josefin Videnord: The Ratio institute and Uppsala university, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper we conduct a meta-analysis to examine the link between R&D spending and economic growth in the EU and other regions. The results suggest that the growth-enhancing effect of R&D in the EU15 countries does not differ from that in other countries in general, but it is less significant than that for other industrialized countries. A closer inspection of the data reveals that the weak results for the EU15 stem from comparisons with the US – the US has been able to generate a stronger growth response from its R&D spending. Possible explanations for the US advantage include higher private sector investment in R&D and stronger public-private sector linkages than in the EU. Hence, to reduce the “innovation gap” vis-à-vis the US, it may not be enough for the EU to raise the share of R&D expenditures in GDP: continuous improvements in the European innovation system will also be needed, with focus on areas like private sector R&D and public-private sector linkages.

Keywords: meta-analysis; R&D; European Union; EU15; USA; Economic Growth

JEL-codes: F43; O51; O52

25 pages, April 14, 2015

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