The Retreat of Public Research and Its Adverse Consequences on Innovation

27 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2016  

Daniele Archibugi

Italian National Research Council (CNR); University of London - School of Business, Economics and Informatics

Andrea Filippetti

Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISSIRFA); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); University of London - Birkbeck College

Date Written: September 12, 2016

Abstract

Does it matter whether research is conducted by the private business rather than in universities or government research centres? While most of the attention of science and innovation policy in the last decades has explored the relevance of the interconnections between public and business players in enhancing knowledge-based societies, a major trend has been ignored: both the quota of public R&D and its share over the total R&D investment has shrunk in most OECD countries. As a result, a larger fraction of knowledge is today generated in the private sector. We argue that this is a major problem since public research and private research differ along a number of characteristics, e.g. public access, potential for future technological innovations, criteria of resource allocation. This trend can have adverse implications for long-term innovation and economic welfare in our societies. Through the lens of the public goods theory and of the sector of funding and execution of R&D for the period 1981-2012 we try to explain why.

Keywords: R&D, knowledge economy, public sector, public goods, intellectual property rights, technology transfer

JEL Classification: O31, O38, H41

Suggested Citation

Archibugi, Daniele and Filippetti, Andrea, The Retreat of Public Research and Its Adverse Consequences on Innovation (September 12, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2837736

Daniele Archibugi

Italian National Research Council (CNR) ( email )

Via Palestro, 32
00185 Rome
Italy

University of London - School of Business, Economics and Informatics ( email )

Malet Street
Bloomsbury
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 631 6741 (Phone)
+44 (0) 207 631 6769 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/management/our-staff/academics/archibugi

Andrea Filippetti (Contact Author)

Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISSIRFA) ( email )

Via dei Taurini, 19
00185 Rome
Italy

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

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