Convergence of R&D intensity in OECD countries: evidence since 1870

  • Sefa Awaworyi ChurchillEmail author
  • John Inekwe
  • Kris Ivanovski


Research and development (R&D) activity has been widely cited as one of the key drivers of economic growth over several decades. This research note employs the Phillips and Sul (Econometrica 75(6):1771–1855, 2007; Econometrics 24(7):1153–1185, 2009) methodology to test for the convergence of R&D intensity across OECD countries spanning 145 years. We find evidence in favour of full convergence (i.e. convergence among all 20 countries) in R&D intensity. However, the club clustering procedure reveals that prior to World War II (WWII) the patterns of R&D intensity differ across countries where we identify one convergent club and one non-convergent club. These results suggest that the post-WWII period witnessed significant international R&D spillovers between countries, given that all countries converge to the same steady state. Alternatively, the pre-WWII period included countries where technology and innovation were lagging behind.


R&D intensity Club convergence/clustering OECD 

JEL Classification

C33 Q47 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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