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How special is the special relationship?: using the impact of R&D spillovers on UK firms as a test of technology sourcing

Griffith, Rachel, Harrison, Rupert and Van Reenen, John (2004) How special is the special relationship?: using the impact of R&D spillovers on UK firms as a test of technology sourcing. CEP Discussion Paper No 659. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

How much does US-based R&D benefit other countries and through what mechanisms? We test the "technology sourcing" hypothesis that foreign research labs located on US soil tap into US R&D spillovers and improve home country productivity. Using panels of UK and US firms matched to patent data we show that UK firms who had established a high proportion of US-based inventors by 1990 benefited disproportionately from the growth of the US R&D stock over the next 10 years. We estimate that UK firms’ Total Factor Productivity would have been at least 5% lower in 2000 (about $14bn) in the absence of the US R&D growth in the 1990s. We also find that technology sourcing is more important for countries and industries who have "most to learn". Within the UK, the benefits of technology sourcing were larger in industries whose TFP gap with the US was greater. Between countries, the growth of the UK R&D stock did not appear to have a major benefit for US firms who located R&D labs in the UK. The "special relationship" between the UK and the US appears distinctly asymmetric.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: Published 2004 © R. Griffith, R. Harrison and J. Van Reenen. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<http://eprints.lse.ac.uk>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
F - International Economics > F2 - International Factor Movements and International Business > F23 - Multinational Firms; International Business
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: CEP Discussion Paper No 659
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2008
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/711/

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