Exploring the Sources of Firm-level Scale Economies in R&D: Complementary assets, internal and external knowledge inflows, and inventor team size
Sadao Nagaoka and
Hideo Owan ()
Discussion papers from Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
This paper explores the sources of firm-level scale economies in R&D, based on unique project-level data from a new large-scale survey of Japanese inventors, matched with firm-level data. We focus on four sources: complementary assets, internal and external knowledge inflows, and inventor team size. Major findings include: (1) a larger firm tends to generate more patents from a research project but not more valuable patents, controlling for the objectives and the R&D investment (inventive efforts) for the project; (2) the sales of a firm rather than its R&D (or patent stocks) significantly affects the number of patents from the project, suggesting that the main source of such scale economy is not internal knowledge inflow but "appropriation advantage" of a large firm; (3) an inventor in a large firm often gains important knowledge for the project from internal knowledge inflow as well as from scientific literature. However, the performance of R&D-for which internal knowledge is important-tends to be low; and (4) the size of inventor teams increases with firm size and technological diversity. A larger team size is significantly associated with higher patent value and, as such, the size of the inventor team is one source of firm-level scale economies.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eti:dpaper:11038
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