Determinants of National R&D and Patenting: Application to a Small, Distant Country
Richard Blaikie Fabling (),
Arthur Grimes () and
Nick Bonner ()
Additional contact information Ron Crawford: Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand
Nick Bonner: Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand
We analyse the determinants of national R&D expenditure and patenting activity. In contrast to most related studies, we account for factors that impact on small, distant countries. These factors include country size, firm size, distance from major economic centres, and industrial structure. We apply the results to New Zealand, which has a low rate of privately funded R&D. We find that R&D expenditure and patenting activity are negatively affected by having a preponderance of small firms, having a heavy reliance on agriculture and also by distance of a country from major world centres. Population size is found to have no impact on either R&D or patenting. Greater R&D increases patenting, with an elasticity that indicates moderately increasing returns to scale in the relationship between R&D inputs and patent outcomes. Better intellectual property protection within a country also increases patenting activity. Once we control for these factors, New Zealand is not an outlier with respect to its R&D expenditures; it is a positive outlier with regard to patenting.