© 2015 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. This article studies the relationship between research and development intensity and growth performance during economic downturns at the industry level. Industries that are more research and development-intensive tend to perform better during downturns than industries that are less research and development-intensive. The panel fixed-effects estimations show that this link is particularly strong among manufacturing industries and is robust to various sensitivity checks. These results are consistent with previous firm-level studies that find innovating firms are much less sensitive to a particular cyclical shock than are non-innovating firms.