, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 329–359 | Cite as

R&D and productivity: using UK firm-level data to inform policy

  • Mark Rogers
Original Paper


The UK’s business R&D (BERD) to GDP ratio is low compared to other leading economies, and the ratio has declined over the 1990s. This paper uses data on 719 large UK firms to analyse the link between R&D and productivity during 1989–2000. The results indicate that UK returns to R&D are similar to returns in other leading economies and have been relatively stable over the 1990s. The analysis suggests that the low BERD to GDP ratio in the UK is unlikely to be due to direct financial or human capital constraints (as these imply finding relatively high rates of return).


R&D Productivity 

JEL Classification

L10 O31 O34 



The author thank Bob Allen, Dirk Czarnitzki, Christine Greenhalgh, Marcel Fafchamps, Katrin Hussinger and others at an Oxford workshop (April 2005), the Global Conference on Business and Economics (Oxford, June 2005) and European Association of Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE) (Porto, September 2005), as well as an editor for helpful comments. Part of the database developed for analysis in this paper was developed at the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre (OIPRC), St Peter’s College. The author is grateful to St Peter’s College for accommodation and administrative support for this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harris Manchester CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.Aston UniversityBirminghamUK

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