There is a widely recognised tendency for conventional measures of R&D activity to under-estimate the R&D investments of small companies. This arises due to small firms' emphasis on developmental rather than fundamental research, and because this activity is often informally organised. International survey evidence suggests a greater degree of formality in the organisation of R&D in German small firms. This reduces the likely degree of under-estimation of German small firms' R&D activity relative to that in the U.K. As a result, aggregate R&D figures may be under-estimating the true level by 13.9 per cent in the U.K. and 2.4 per cent in Germany. This is equivalent to around half of the historical difference between aggregate levels of business R&D in the U.K. and Germany.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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