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Measuring the Social Return to R&D

Charles Jones () and John Williams ()

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1998, vol. 113, issue 4, 1119-1135

Abstract: Is there too much or too little research and development (R&D)? In this paper we bridge the gap between the recent growth literature and the empirical productivity literature. We derive in a growth model the relationship between the social rate of return to R&D and the coefficient estimates of the empirical literature and show that these estimates represent a lower bound. Furthermore, our analytic framework provides a direct mapping from the rate of return to the degree of underinvestment in research. Conservative estimates suggest that optimal R&D investment is at least two to four times actual investment.

Date: 1998
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Working Paper: Measuring the social return to R&D (1997) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1119-1135.

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