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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
R&D, Innovation and Exporting
Richard Harris and John Moffat
March 2011
Paper No' SERCDP0073:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: C35; O32; R11

Tags: r&d; innovation; exporting; endogeneity

This study considers the determinants of whether a firm exports, undertakes R&D and/or innovates, and, in particular, the contemporaneous links between these variables using three waves of the UK Community Innovation Survey (CIS). Where appropriate, an instrumental variables procedure is employed to overcome problems of endogeneity. The results show that in both manufacturing and services, being involved in exporting increased the probability that an establishment was engaged in spending on R&D. Spending on R&D in manufacturing had a much larger impact on the probability of exporting which implies that spending on R&D was not simply to boost the probability of producing new goods and services, but also to improve the establishment’s knowledge assets which would in turn help it break down barriers to international markets. In non-manufacturing, spending on R&D increased the probability of innovating but had no significant impact on whether the establishment exported; rather, innovating increased the probability of exporting. Exporting had no direct impact on whether innovation occurred in either sector. Given the key role of R&D, innovation and exporting in determining productivity, it is important that government understands these complex interactions between R&D, innovation and exporting and takes advantage of them when devising and implementing productivity-enhancing policies at the micro-level.