nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2005‒06‒05
seven papers chosen by
Koen Frenken
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. New Firms Evolving in the Knowledge Economy; problems and solutions around turning points. By E. Stam; E. Garnsey
  2. Environmental Innovations: Institutional Impacts on Co-operations for Sustainable Development By Helmut Karl; Antje Möller; Ximena Matus; Edgar Grande; Robert Kaiser
  3. Determinants of International Patent Examination Outcomes By Alfons Palangkaraya; Paul H. Jensen; Elizabeth Webster
  4. The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences By Diego Comin; Thomas Philippon
  5. Factors Affecting University–Industry R&D Collaboration : The importance of screening and signalling. By Roberto FONTANA; Aldo GEUNA; Mireille MATT
  6. Open knowledge disclosure, incomplete information and collective innovations. By Julien PENIN
  7. Open Source software development – just another case of collective invention? By Margit Osterloh; Sandra Rota

  1. By: E. Stam; E. Garnsey
    Abstract: This paper explores and explains the emergence and growth of new firms in the knowledge economy. The resource-based view, capabilities approach, and evolutionary economics are used as a foundation for a developmental approach. The development of the firm is conceptualized in terms of processes that include opportunity recognition, resource mobilization, resource generation and resource accumulation, which lead to the development of competences and capital in a base made up of productive, commercial and financial resources. Problems originating within or outside the firm may deplete the productive, commercial and asset base, leading to turning points in the life course of these firms. These have negative consequences when problems are not solved, but positive consequences when they lead to new solutions and the development of new competence. The empirical study shows that even in an elite sample of young fast-growing firms, most firms face turning points in their life course, and thus do not grow in a continuous way. The study shows that quantitative growth indicators do not always reveal growth problems that have been faced by new firms. Some problems do not negatively affect the employment growth of the firm, and other problems are solved before growth stagnates. The qualitative analysis shows that young firms are almost always in disequilibrium: there is almost never a perfect match between the constituents of their resource base, between input resources and requirements for expansion. This explains why continuous growth is so unlikely. Although every firm seems to grow in a unique manner, there is evidence for the presence of a limited set of necessary mechanisms for the growth of (new) firms, which work out in particular ways given the specific context and history of these firms.
    Keywords: New firms, firm growth, theory of the firm, resource based view, firm life course, organizational crises, knowledge economy
    JEL: D21 D92 L23 M13 M21
  2. By: Helmut Karl (Ruhr-University Bochum); Antje Möller (Ruhr-University Bochum); Ximena Matus (Ruhr-University Bochum); Edgar Grande (Technical University of Munich); Robert Kaiser (Technical University of Munich)
    Abstract: A suitable strategy for achieving sustainable development is to foster environmental innovations. Environmental innovations, however, suffer from so-called "double externalities", because apart from innovation spillovers they also improve the quality of public environmental goods, which can be used without cost by free riders. Those innovation spillovers can be avoided through co-operation. Furthermore co-operations can be considered as advantageous because environmental innovations often depend on interaction in research and development, production, selling and disposal. This paper analyzes as to what extent institutional factors impact co-operative arrangements of innovative organizations in the development of new environmental technologies. It applies a multi-dimensional institutional analysis focusing not only on institutional arrangements which exist among organizations but also on opportunities and constraints provided by the institutional environment in which these organizations are embedded. Expanding the existing research we will conclude what kind of policy measure may support the success within networks of environmental oriented innovators.
    Keywords: Environmental innovation, Co-operation, Sustainability, Institutional analysis, Policy measures
    JEL: L14 O31 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2005–04
  3. By: Alfons Palangkaraya (Centre for Microeconometrics, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne); Paul H. Jensen (Centre for Microeconometrics, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne); Elizabeth Webster (Centre for Microeconometrics, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper examines the factors that cause differences in patent examination outcomes at the trilateral patent offices using a dataset of more than 70,000 non-PCT patent applications filed at the European and Japanese Patent Offices conditional upon them being granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The paper finds that the quality of the invention, the applicant and whether the inventor was a local resident were the major determinants of patent grants. There is some, albeit inconsistent, evidence that examination decisions are made in the interests of the region's national trade.
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: Diego Comin; Thomas Philippon
    Abstract: We document that the recent decline in aggregate volatility has been accompanied by a large increase in firm level risk. The negative relationship between firm and aggregate risk seems to be present across industries in the US, and across OECD countries. Firm volatility increases after deregulation. Firm volatility is linked to research and development spending as well as access to external financing. Further, R&D intensity is also associated with lower correlation of sectoral growth with the rest of the economy.
    JEL: E3 O3 D4
    Date: 2005–05
  5. By: Roberto FONTANA; Aldo GEUNA; Mireille MATT
    Abstract: This paper presents an empirical analysis of the determinants of research cooperation between firms and Public Research Organisations (PROs) for a sample of innovating small and mediumsized enterprises. The econometric analysis is based on the results of the KNOW survey carried out in seven EU countries during 2000. In contrast to earlier works that provide information about the importance of PROs’ research, we know how many collaborative projects a firm has had with PROs. This allows us to study the determinants of firms’ collaboration with PROs in terms of both the propensity of a firm to cooperate with a university (do they cooperate or not) and the extent of this cooperation (the number of collaborations). Two questions are addressed. Which firms cooperated with PROs? And what are the firm characteristics that might explain the number of collaborations with PROs? The results of our analysis point to two major phenomena. First, the propensity to forge an agreement with an academic partner depends on the ‘absolute size’ of the industrial partner. Second the openness of firms to the external environment, as measured by their willingness to search, screen and signal, significantly affects the development of cooperations with PROs. Our findings suggest that acquiring knowledge through the screening of publications and involvement in public policies positively affects the probability of signing an agreement with a PRO, but not the level of collaboration developed. In fact, firms that outsource research and development (R&D), and patent to protect innovation and to signal competencies show higher levels of collaboration.
    Keywords: Public Research Organisations, University-Industry R&D cooperation, Openness.
    JEL: H4 L3 O3
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Julien PENIN
    Abstract: Why do firms decide sometimes to disclose widely part of their knowledge while they could have kept it secret ? We attempt to provide an original answer to this question by combining the literature in economics of innovation and in economics of incomplete information. We suggest that such practices of open knowledge disclosure can be deliberate strategies aiming at solving adverse selection problems that arise when firms try to find partners with whom to cooperate in R&D. Competent firms can sometimes think it a profitable strategy to disclose knowledge because this disclosure may allow them to display their differences with less competent firms, thus making it easier to start a profitable collaboration with other competent firms. We illustrate this intuition with the help of a signalling game under incomplete information.
    Keywords: open knowledge disclosure, signalling, adverse selection, innovation network, R&D collaboration, collective invention.
    JEL: L0
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Margit Osterloh; Sandra Rota
    Abstract: Does Open Source (OS) represent a new innovation model, and under what conditions can it be employed in other contexts? A look into history shows that OS isn’t a unique example of what is called “collective invention”. Other examples are blast furnaces in Britain’s Cleveland district, steam engine design, and more recently, the flat panel display industry. While OS shares many similarities with these cases of collective invention, there is a main difference: Other collective invention regimes did not survive after the development of a dominant design. It is argued that two factors can explain the difference. Firstly, OS licenses are important institutional innovations that make OS survive as a common property. Secondly, the second order social dilemma, which arises when it comes to developing and enforcing OS licenses, is overcome by the existence of intrinsically motivated contributors. It is asked under which conditions this kind of motivation is developed and sustained. We argue that it is the existence of certain selfgovernance- mechanisms which OS licenses are a part of. We conclude that OS differentiates itself from other cases of collective invention by its success in solving the second order social dilemma of rule development and enforcement.
    Keywords: Open source software; collective invention; intrinsic motivation; copyleft; conditional cooperation.
    Date: 2005–02

This nep-ino issue is ©2005 by Koen Frenken. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.