R&D and the Productivity Slowdown

  • Griliches Z
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The question I shall address in this paper is: Can the slowdown in
productivity growth be explained, wholly or in part, by the recent
slowdown in the growth of real R&D expenditures? But first we have
to review the following questions: I) What is to be explained? Which
productivity and what slowdown? 2) What is the mechanism by which
R&D could have contributed to this slowdown? 3) What did happen to
R&D in the relevant period? Besides traversing this somewhat familiar
ground and reviewing some of the recent literature on this topic,
I shall also report on some estimates of my own. The direct answer
to the opening question is "probably not." But how we get there needs
documenting and may prove instructive on its own merits.

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  • Zvi Griliches

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