The productivity impact of R&D investment: are high-tech sectors still ahead?

Raquel Ortega Argiles, Mariacristina Piva, Marco Vivarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Our aim is to investigate the relationship between a firm's R&D expenditures and its productivity, looking at sectoral peculiarities. We use a unique longitudinal database consisting of 1809 US and European manufacturing and service firms over the period 1990-2008. Our main findings can be summarised as follows. Consistently with previous literature, the knowledge stock has a significant positive impact on a firm's productivity. More interestingly, the coefficient turns out to be significantly larger in the R&D-user services and high-tech manufacturing sectors than in the non-high-tech manufacturing sectors. Contrary to the 'latecomer advantage' approach, these outcomes suggest that firms in high-tech sectors are still ahead in terms of impact on productivity of R&D investments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-222
Number of pages19
JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • R&D
  • productivity
  • knowledge stock
  • panel data


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