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Doing R&D or Not (in a Crisis), That Is the Question …

Michele Cincera (), Claudio Cozza (), Alexander Tübke and Peter Voigt

European Planning Studies, 2011, vol. 20, issue 9, 1525-1547

Abstract: This study investigates how corporate R&D evolves in the light of the contemporary economic crisis. We study empirical evidence from past downturns, discuss the relevant literature and perform an empirical analysis of recent business survey data (collected during 2009). Pivotal for our considerations is the question whether companies tend to spend more or less on R&D and innovation activities during periods of recession. We empirically analyse what general patterns can be distinguished in this regard, given the particular circumstances of the most recent crisis. Our findings suggest that company behaviour varies: some companies have recently reduced their innovation activities significantly, while others maintained them and a third group even significantly increased their activities to reap the benefits in the expected upswing. Overall, we observe a deceleration of R&D and innovation activities induced by the crisis, but the trend figures remain positive. Driven by the companies that reinforce their R&D and innovation efforts to thrive through the downturn and thus seek to gather the benefits in the upswing to come, the R&D and innovation landscape is likely to look different in the aftermath of the crisis.

Date: 2011
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