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Impact of R&D expenditure on economic growth: evidence from emerging economies

Le Thanh Tung (Faculty of Economics and Public Management, Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Le Nguyen Hoang (Faculty of International Economics, Banking University of Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 9 February 2023

Issue publication date: 18 April 2024




Emerging economies have been highlighted as an important growth source of the global economy. However, this group of countries has not received enough academic attention yet. Therefore, this study aims to identify the impact of research and development (R&D) expenditure on economic growth in emerging economies.


The theoretical framework of the production function is applied to quantitatively analyse the impact of R&D expenditure on economic growth with a sample of 29 emerging economies in the period between 1996 and 2019.


The panel cointegration test confirms the existence of long-run cointegration relationships between economic growth and independent variables in these emerging economies. Besides, the estimated results show that the national R&D expenditure has positive effects on economic growth from both direct and interaction dimensions. This evidence has filled the empirical research gap in the R&D-growth nexus in the case of emerging economies. Finally, while gross capital and education have positive impacts on growth, corruption has a harmful effect on economic growth in these countries.

Practical implications

The results highlight that policymakers should enhance R&D expenditure and R&D activities as the key national development strategy. The investment in R&D not only helps emerging economies avoid the middle-income trap but also pushes these countries to successfully join the group of developed countries.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is among the first to examine the impact of R&D expenditure on economic growth with a homogeneous sample of emerging economies. The results are obviously helpful for policymakers to use R&D as the key development strategy for supporting economic growth in emerging economies in the future.



Funding: None.

Declarations of interest: None.


Tung, L.T. and Hoang, L.N. (2024), "Impact of R&D expenditure on economic growth: evidence from emerging economies", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 636-654.



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