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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Do firms in the same sector converge towards the same R&D intensities? Previous research has often assumed this to be true. A closer examination, using microdata from the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard for the years 2000-2015, shows a large amount of heterogeneity in R&D intensities among firms in the same sector, and that this heterogeneity persists over time. Statistical tests of convergence show that the variation in R&D intensities does not decrease over time (i.e. no σ-convergence), although firms with an R&D intensity below the industry average do seem to catch up with the leaders (i.e. evidence of β-convergence). Overall, firms in the same industry do not converge to a common R&D intensity. Policy implications are discussed.