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Characterizing The Evolution Of The EU-US R&D Intensity Gap Using Data From Top R&D Performers

Juraj Stancík, F. Biagi
Published 2012 · Economics, Business, Geography

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In this report, we look at the evolution of Europe's R&D intensity gap relative to the US and its main competitors, using data from repeated waves (2002-2010) of the Industrial Scoreboard, which collects data from top R&D performers in Europe and in the rest of the world (US, Japan, BRIC, Asian Tigers). First we decompose the R&D intensity gap into a structural and an intrinsic component and, comparing the EU to its main competitors, we find that the gap is largely structural and that Europe's position relative to any of the other four regions, has worsened during the years 2005-2006. Since then, it has slightly improved relative to Japan and especially the Asian Tigers, but it has definitely worsened relative to the US and to the BRICS. In the second part of the paper, we focus on the EU-US comparison and, using firm-level data, we confirm the structural interpretation. We also find that European young companies seem to depend much more on their internal resources for the financing of R&D when compared to US young companies. This suggests that policies directed at financing young innovative companies might play a role in closing the EU-US R&D intensity gap.
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