Can innovation really bring economic growth? The role of social filter in China

Ailun Xiong, Senmao Xia, Zhen Ye, Dongmei Cao, Yanguo Jing, Hongyi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
312 Downloads (Pure)


This study explores the relationship between R&D investment and economic growth in China, using a newly collected panel data set. Specifically, we investigate how social filters are connected to R&D output. Instead of linking R&D investment directly to economic performance, we adopt a two-step strategy which identifies the impact R&D investment on R&D output, and then study the causal links between R&D output and economic development. Our results suggest that the relationship between R&D input, R&D output and economic growth diverges by different region and sectors. Most of positive associations stem from non-peripheral regions and non-state owned sectors. Social filters are also more effective under these circumstances. These results reveal the complexity of relationships between R&D efforts and economic performance and point to the important role of social filters in innovation and growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalStructural Change and Economic Dynamics
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders. This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


Youth Foundation of Ministry of Education: 19YJC630187, and National Science Youth Foundation: 71902014.


  • R&D
  • Spillover
  • Social Filter
  • Economic Growth
  • China


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