International sectoral R&D trends after the global financial crisis: What can we learn for current policy?

ERC Insight Paper

Associated Themes
  • COVID-19
  • Innovation

In this Insight paper we review international evidence drawn from OECD databases which provide comparable time-series on sectoral R&D trends for the period 2008-2016. Our central focus is how R&D trends in UK sectors in the UK differed from those in other countries in the aftermath of the great financial crisis.
Total business R&D spending in the UK fell marginally from 2008-10 before recovering consistently to reach a level 23 per cent higher than that in the recession by 2016. R&D spending in services recovered significantly more quickly than that in manufacturing sectors, some of which have never regained the volume of R&D investment which they had in the recession.
In manufacturing, the poorer performing sectors have tended to be more traditional foundation industries. In services, poor performing sectors have tended to be those which grew rapidly in the pre-recession period – information and communication and financial services.