The effect of participation in government consortia on the R&D productivity of firms: a case study of robot technology in Japan

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Abstract:

This paper examines the effect of participation in government-sponsored R&D consortia on the R&D productivity of firms in the case of robot technology in Japan. We attempt to provide a new empirical analysis and discussions on the issue of government project evaluation by investigating the impact of the evolution of government programs, and to compare government-sponsored R&D consortia with collaborative R&D among firms. Using indicators of the quality of patents, which enables us to provide an estimation of quality-adjusted research productivity, we find that participation in government programs has a positive impact on the research productivity of participating firms. Moreover, the impact of participation became much higher after the design of government programs in this field changed in the late 1990s. Also, we find that participation in government-sponsored consortia has a greater impact on research productivity than participation in collaborative R&D among firms. This may support government involvement in R&D as a coordinator of R&D collaboration.

Keywords: Japanese innovation system; collaborative R&D; industrial policy; robot technology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10438590902872903

Affiliations: 1: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, France,Maison Franco-Japonaise, Tokyo, Japan,Faculty of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, 2-1 Naka, Kunitachi, Tokyo, Japan 2: Maison Franco-Japonaise, Tokyo, Japan,Faculty of Economics, Yokohama National University, 79-1 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama, Japan 3: Maison Franco-Japonaise, Tokyo, Japan,Faculty of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, 2-1 Naka, Kunitachi, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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