Theme 2: Economic/industrial impacts of research

This theme is coordinated by Arvid Raknerud from Statistics Norway (SSB).

Under this heading, we are examining the economic impacts of R&D and R&D collaborations in the business enterprise sector, and the efficiency of public R&D support programs towards the sector. We have five main themes:

  • Microeconomic work on the returns to R&D and the effects of public R&D policies on indicators related to economic performances and innovation outcomes. The work is facilitated by access to unique registry data on public R&D-support, business accounting information, R&D survey data and data on intellectual property rights (patents, designs and trademarks).
  • Macroeconomic work on the effects of R&D tax incentives on investments when there are knowledge spillovers.
  • Identification of R&D collaboration effects in stages of the innovation process, using social network analysis and micro econometric methods.
  • Analyse the role of R&D in the “green transition” to a low-carbon economy, with a focus on Norway’s R&D investments in carbon-intensive energy like oil and gas versus carbon-free renewables.
  • Impact cases from industrial R&D, with the impact of multinational telecom firm Telenor’s big data research as the first case.

Key takeaways

Public support to incumbent firms that regularly perform R&D does not generate significant additional output in terms of jobs, productivity or value creation, but there are considerable effects for firms not previously engaged in R&D. At an aggregate level, domestic R&D spillovers and increased skill intensity contributed to almost half of total growth in total factor productivity (TFP) over the period 1982 to 2018. The impact from international spillovers through technology adoption amounted to 40 per cent, whereas the remaining 10 percent was due to interaction effects. A simulation model indicates that a more R&D friendly tax policy has the potential of increasing R&D investments significantly. Our first industrial impact case shows that there are many effects outside of the R&D performing firm – a major use of Telenor’s big data research is now through the use of mobile call detail records to understand and fight pandemics like Covid-19.


“Public R&D Support and Firm Performance: A Multivariate Dose–Response Analysis” (Arvid Raknerud and Øivind Anti Nilsen). Published in Research Policy

“Modeling R&D spillovers to productivity: The effects of tax policy” (T. von Brasch, Å. Cappelen, H. Hungnes and T. Skjerpen). Resubmitted to Economic Modelling

 “The impact of public R&D support on firms' patenting” (B. Bye, Marit Klemetsen, A. Raknerud).  Discussion Papers, Statistics Norway:

Work in progress

“Public R&D policy and firms’ IPR activities”, by Eric Iversen (NIFU) and Arvid Raknerud (SSB)

“The Private return to R&D”, by Ådne Cappelen (SSB), Pierre Mohnen (UNU-MERIT), Arvid Raknerud (SSB) and Marina Rybalka (SSB)

“The impacts of dirty and clean R&D – a macroeconomic approach”, by Kunt Einar Rosendahl (NMBU, SSB) and Mads Greaker (Oslo Met, SSB)

“Measuring the impact of network position on innovation: Can the CDM model be of use?”, by Joar Kvamsås (TIK, SSB)


Published May 13, 2017 11:39 AM - Last modified Nov. 26, 2020 1:51 PM