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International R&D Spillovers and Innovation Efficiency

Jianping Liu (), Kai Lu () and Shixiong Cheng ()
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Jianping Liu: Business School, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
Kai Lu: Business School, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
Shixiong Cheng: Business School, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 11, 1-23

Abstract: The objective of this study is to examine the impact of international research and development (R&D) spillovers on innovation efficiency of specific R&D outcomes, employing the country-level panel data for 44 countries in the 1996–2013 period. Fully considering the heterogeneity of different R&D outputs, scientific papers, PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patents, US patents, and domestic patents are observed separately, which enriches the angles of measuring international R&D spillovers. By applying a stochastic frontier analysis to knowledge production function, we find that foreign R&D capital stock positively contributes to the innovation efficiency of scientific papers, but suppresses the productivity of domestic patents, whereas it does not really matter for PCT or US patents. These results are robust to control for a set of institutional factors and also in sensitivity analyses. Hence, dependence on international R&D spillovers seems neither to be the right way for emerging economies to catch up, nor to be a sustainable model for developing countries to fill the technical gap. Local R&D capital stock, instead, keeps an essential contributor to all four R&D outputs, so raising internal R&D expenditure is actually the key to improving innovation level and sustainable development ability.

Keywords: international R&D spillovers; innovation efficiency; SFA; patents; scientific papers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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