“Plant Productivity Dynamics and Private and Public R&D Spillovers: Technological, Geographic and Relational Proximity”

René Belderbos, KU Leuven, Maastricht University (O&S) and UNU-Merit

We examine the effects of R&D spillovers on total factor productivity in a large panel of Japanese manufacturing plants matched with R&D survey data (1987-2007). We simultaneously examine the role of public (university and research institutions) and private (firm) R&D spillovers, and examine the differential effects due to technological, geographic and relational (buyer-supplier) proximity. Estimating dynamic long difference models and allowing for gradual convergence in TFP and geographic decay in spillover effects, we find positive effects of technologically proximate private R&D stocks, which decay in distance and become negligible at around 500 kilometres. In addition to knowledge spillovers from technologically proximate R&D stocks, ‘relational’ spillovers from buyer and supplier R&D stocks exert positive effects on TFP growth that are similar in magnitude. The elasticity of TFP is highest for public R&D (corrected for industrial relevance), in particular for plants operated by R&D conducting firms. We do not find evidence of geographic decay in the impact of public and relational spillovers. Over time, declining R&D spillovers appear to be responsible for a substantial part of the decline in the rate of TFP growth. The exit of proximate plants operated by R&D intensive firms plays a notable role in this process and is an important phenomenon in major industrial agglomerations such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Kanagawa.

About the speaker
Professor René Belderbos is a full professor of Managerial Economics and Strategy at the University of Leuven and part-time professorial fellow at Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT (The Netherlands).He chairs the Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation at the Faculty of Business and Economics. His research focuses on innovation strategies and international business strategies of multinational firms. René Belderbos has published widely in international journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics, Strategic Management Journal, European Economic Review, Economica, International Journal of Industrial Organization, World Development, Research Policy, the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, the Journal of Product Innovation Management, and the Journal of World Economics.

Venue: A0.24 (TS53)

Date: 20 November 2013

Time: 12:00 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT