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Innovation And Learning: The Two Faces Of R&D

W. Cohen, D. Levinthal
Published 1989 · Economics

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The authors assume that firms invest in R&D not only to generate innovations, but also to learn from competitors and extraindustry knowledge sources (e.g., university and government labs). This argument suggests that the ease of learning within an industry will both affect R&D spending, and condition the influence of appropriability and technological opportunity conditions on R&D. For example, they show that, contrary to the traditional result, intraindustry spillovers may encourage equilibrium industry R&D investment. Regression results confirm that the impact of appropriability and technological opportunity conditions on R&D is influenced by the ease and character of learning. Copyright 1989 by Royal Economic Society.
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