Have R&D Spillovers Changed?

38 Pages Posted: 25 May 2018 Last revised: 16 Apr 2019

See all articles by Brian Lucking

Brian Lucking

Stanford University

Nicholas Bloom

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John Van Reenen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2018


This paper revisits the results of Bloom, Schankerman, and Van Reenen (2013) examining the impact of R&D on the performance of US firms, especially through spillovers. We extend their analysis to include an additional 15 years of data through 2015, and update the measures of firms' interactions in technology space and product market space. We show that the magnitude of R&D spillovers appears to have been broadly similar in the second decade of the 21st Century as it was in the mid-1980s. However, there does seem to have been some increase in the wedge between marginal social returns to R&D and marginal private returns with the ratio of marginal social to private returns increasing to a factor of 4 from 3. There is certainly no evidence that the divergence between public and private return has narrowed. Positive spillovers appeared to increase in the 1995-2004 boom.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Lucking, Brian and Bloom, Nicholas and Van Reenen, John, Have R&D Spillovers Changed? (May 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24622. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3182249

Brian Lucking (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Nicholas Bloom

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building, Room 231
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-725-7836 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://economics.stanford.edu/faculty/bloom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John Van Reenen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics