nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2006‒09‒16
nine papers chosen by
Koen Frenken
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. How Rapidly Does Science Leak Out? By James D. Adams; J. Roger Clemmons; Paula E. Stephan
  2. Systemic Innovation in a Distributed Network: Paradox or Pinnacle? By Poul Houman Andersen; Ina Drejer
  3. U.S. Universities’ Net Returns from Patenting and Licensing: A Quantile Regression Analysis By Bulut, Harun; Moschini, GianCarlo
  4. Can You Teach Old Dragons New Tricks? FDI and Innovation Activity in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises By Sourafel Girma; Yundan Gong; Holger Görg
  5. Currents and Sub-currents in the River of Innovations - Explaining Innovativeness using New-Product Announcements By Dolfsma, W.; Panne, G. van der
  6. Urban density and the rate of invention By Gerald Carlino; Satyajit Chatterjee; Robert Hunt
  7. Managing Supplier Involvement in New Product Development: A Multiple-Case Study By Echtelt, F.E.A. van; Wynstra, J.Y.F.; Weele, A.J. van; Duysters, G.
  8. The "Names Game": Harnessing Inventors' Patent Data for Economic Research By Manuel Trajtenberg; Gil Shiff; Ran Melamed
  9. The Logic of Appropriability: From Schumpeter to Arrow to Teece By Sidney Winter

  1. By: James D. Adams; J. Roger Clemmons; Paula E. Stephan
    Abstract: In science as well as technology, the diffusion of new ideas influences innovation and productive efficiency. With this as motivation we use citations to scientific papers to measure the diffusion of science through the U.S. economy. To indicate the speed of diffusion we rely primarily on the modal or most frequent lag. Using this measure we find that diffusion between universities as well as between firms and universities takes an average of three years. The lag on science diffusion between firms is 3.3 years, compared with 4.8 years in technology for the same companies using the same methodology. Industrial science diffuses fifty per cent more rapidly than technology, and academic science diffuses still faster. Thus the priority publication system in science appears to distribute information more rapidly than the patent system, although other interpretations are possible. We also find that the speed of science diffusion in the same field varies by a factor of two across industries. The industry variation turns out to be driven by frictional publication lags and firm size in R&D and science. Friction increases the lag, but firm size in R&D and science decrease it. Industries having a lot of R&D or science and composed of fields with little friction exhibit rapid diffusion. Industries where the reverse is true exhibit slow diffusion.
    JEL: O3 L3
    Date: 2006–01
  2. By: Poul Houman Andersen; Ina Drejer
    Abstract: Previous research has suggested that there is a dichotomy of organisational practices: companies involved in autonomous or modularised innovations, it is argued, benefit from decentralised approaches where coordination primarily takes place through the marketplace, whereas the benefits of systemic innovation are said to be appropriated best by centralised organisations. However, case studies of subcontractors to the Danish wind turbine industry suggest that the ability to meet heterogeneous demands plays an important role for the success of different forms of organisational practices in relation to innovation. The modularised versus systemic architecture approach therefore appears to be a too sweeping dichotomy for describing what can better be perceived as an array of different practices for balancing innovation contribution with the ability of individual firms to appropriate innovation benefits – and a heterogeneous market perception is a core element in building and sustaining this ability.
    Keywords: Organisational Forms; Innovation System; Knowledge Complementarities; Value Appropriation
    JEL: L14 O31 O34
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Bulut, Harun; Moschini, GianCarlo
    Abstract: In line with the rights and incentives provided by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, U.S. universities have increased their involvement in patenting and licensing activities through their own technology transfer offices. Only a few U.S. universities are obtaining large returns, however, whereas others are continuing with these activities despite negligible or negative returns. We assess the U.S. universities’ potential to generate returns from licensing activities by modeling and estimating quantiles of the distribution of net licensing returns conditional on some of their structural characteristics. We find limited prospects for public universities without a medical school everywhere in their distribution. Other groups of universities (private, and public with a medical school) can expect significant but still fairly modest returns only beyond the 0.9th quantile. These findings call into question the appropriateness of the revenue-generating motive for the aggressive rate of patenting and licensing by U.S. universities.
    Keywords: Bayh-Dole Act, quantile regression, returns to innovation, skewed distributions, technology transfer, university patents.
    Date: 2006–09–01
  4. By: Sourafel Girma (University of Nottingham); Yundan Gong (University of Nottingham); Holger Görg (University of Nottingham and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We investigate whether inward FDI, either at the firm or industry level, has any impact on product innovation by Chinese State owned enterprises (SOEs). We use a comprehensive firm level panel data set of Chinese SOEs covering the period 1999 to 2003. Our results show that foreign capital participation is associated with higher innovative activity. Inward FDI in the sector has a negative effect on innovative activity in SOEs. However, there is a positive effect of FDI on SOEs that export, invest in human capital or R&D, or have prior innovation experience. We also find that SOEs with internal R&D activity and human capital development are successful innovators. Hence, our results suggest that rather than relying on sector level inward FDI to improve domestic innovative activity, it is important to get the firm-level fundamentals right.
    Keywords: innovation, FDI, state owned enterprises, spillovers, competition, China
    JEL: F23 O31
    Date: 2006–08
  5. By: Dolfsma, W.; Panne, G. van der (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: In their seminal paper, Acs and Audretsch (1988) analyze innovation patterns across industries and identify several determinants of innovativeness, both positive and negative. Their work is seminal if only because of the unique data they use to measure innovativeness: new-product announcements. They show that industry concentration, degree of unionization would hamper innovation; industries characterized by increased shares of skilled labor and large firms provide favorable conditions for innovation. By analyzing a new and more consciously compiled database, we re-examine their original claims. Our results largely support the findings of Acs & Audretsch, but diverge from them in one important way. We suggest that the large firms do not contribute more to a industry?s innovativeness than small firms ? a vindication of the Schumpeter Mark I perspective. In addition, we analyze micro-level data of individual firms. Firms within different sub-groups respond differently to their competitive environment. We show that less dedicated innovators prove more susceptible to environmental factors than more committed innovators. In addition, an unfavorable competitive environment decreases the likelihood that less successful innovators will announce new products.
    Keywords: Innovation;New-Product Announcements;Innovation Sub-Currents;Schumpeter Mark I;
    Date: 2006–09–06
  6. By: Gerald Carlino; Satyajit Chatterjee; Robert Hunt
    Abstract: Economists, beginning with Alfred Marshall, have studied the significance of cities in the production and exploitation of information externalities that, today, we call knowledge spillovers. This paper presents robust evidence of those effects. We show that patent intensity—the per capita invention rate—is positively related to the density of employment in the highly urbanized portion of MAs. All else equal, a city with twice the employment density (jobs per square mile) of another city will exhibit a patent intensity (patents per capita) that is 20 percent higher. Patent intensity is maximized at an employment density of about 2,200 jobs per square mile. A city with a more competitive market structure or one that is not too large (a population less than 1 million) will also have a higher patent intensity. These findings confirm the widely held view that the nation’s densest locations play an important role in creating the flow of ideas that generate innovation and growth. ; Supersedes Working Paper No. 04-16
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Echtelt, F.E.A. van; Wynstra, J.Y.F.; Weele, A.J. van; Duysters, G. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Existing studies of supplier involvement in new product development have mainly focused on project-related short-term processes and success-factors. This study validates and extends an existing exploratory framework, which comprises both long-term strategic processes and short-term operational processes that are related to supplier involvement. The empirical validation is based on a multiple-case study of supplier collaborations at a manufacturer in the copier and printer industry. The analysis of eight cases of supplier involvement reveals that the results of supplier-manufacturer collaborations and the associated issues and problems can best be explained by the patterns in the extent to which the manufacturer manages supplier involvement in the short-term ?nd the long-term. We find that our initial framework is helpful in understanding why certain collaborations are not effectively managed, yet conclude that the existing analytical distinction between four different management areas does not sufficiently reflect empirical reality. This leads us to reconceptualize and further detail the framework. Instead of four managerial areas, we propose to distinguish between the Strategic Management arena and the Operational Management arena. The Strategic Management arena contains processes that together provide long-term, strategic direction and operational support for project teams adopting supplier involvement. These processes also contribute to building up a supplier base that can meet current and future technology and capability needs. The Operational Management arena contains processes that are aimed at planning, managing and evaluating the actual collaborations in a specific development project. The results of this study suggest that success of involving suppliers in product development is reflected by the firm?s ability to capture both short-term and long-term benefits. If companies spend most of their time on operational management in development projects, they will fail to use the ?leverage? effect of planning and preparing such involvement through strategic management activities. Also, they will not be sufficiently able to capture possible long-term technology and learning benefits that may spin off from individual projects. Long-term collaboration benefits can only be captured if a company can build long-term relationships with key suppliers, where it builds learning routines and ensures that the capability sets of both parties are aligned and remain useful for future joint projects.
    Keywords: New Product Development;Innovation;R&D Management;Supplier Relations;Purchasing;
    Date: 2006–09–07
  8. By: Manuel Trajtenberg; Gil Shiff; Ran Melamed
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to lay out a methodology and corresponding computer algorithms, that allow us to extract the detailed data on inventors contained in patents, and harness it for economic research. Patent data has long been used in empirical research in economics, and yet the information on the identity (i.e. the names and location) of the patents’ inventors has seldom been deployed in a large scale, primarily because of the “who is who” problem: the name of a given inventor may be spelled differently across her/his patents, and the exact same name may correspond to different inventors (i.e. the “John Smith” problem). Given that there are over 2 million patents with 2 inventors per patent on average, the “who is who” problem applies to over 4 million “records”, which is obviously too large to tackle manually. We have thus developed an elaborate methodology and computerized procedure to address this problem in a comprehensive way. The end result is a list of 1.6 million unique inventors from all over the world, with detailed data on their patenting histories, their employers, co-inventors, etc. Forty percent of them have more than one patent, and 70,000 have more than 10 patents. We can trace those multiple inventors across time and space, and thus study the causes and consequences of their mobility across countries, regions, and employers. Given the increasing availability of large computerized data sets on individuals, there may be plenty of opportunities to deploy this methodology to other areas of economic research as well.
    JEL: C81 C88 O30 O31
    Date: 2006–09
  9. By: Sidney Winter
    Abstract: This note expounds the abstract fundamentals of the appropriability problem, re-assessing insights from three classic contributions – those of Schumpeter, Arrow and Teece. Whereas the first two contributions were explicitly concerned with the implications of appropriability for society at large, Teece’s main concern was with practical questions of business strategy and economic organization. This note argues that, his practical concerns notwithstanding, Teece contributed, en passant but fundamentally, to the clarification of basic questions that previous authors had addressed less comprehensively and less satisfactorily. Specifically, his analysis of the innovator’s access to complementary assets, undertaken from a contracting perspective, can be seen as filling a significant gap in the previous theoretical discussion of appropriability.
    Keywords: Appropriability, Innovation, Complementary assets, Patents, Intellectual property.
    Date: 2006–09–11

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