nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2007‒06‒02
five papers chosen by
Koen Frenken
Utrecht University

  1. When do Thick Venture Capital Markets Foster Innovation? An Evolutionary Analysis By Luca Colombo; Herbert Dawid; Kordian Kabus
  2. SME Performance, Innovation and Networking Evidence on Complementarities for a Local Economic System By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Susanna Mancinelli
  3. Environmental Regulation and the Export Dynamics of Energy Technologies By Francesco Crespi; Valeria Costantini
  4. A Politico-Economic Model of Aging, Technology Adoption and Growth By Giovanni Prarolo; Francesco Lancia
  5. The Role of Technological Complexity and Absorptive Capacity in Internalization Decision By Arti

  1. By: Luca Colombo (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Herbert Dawid (Bielefeld University); Kordian Kabus (Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the trade off between different effects of the availability of venture capital on the speed of technological progress in an industry. We consider an evolutionary industry simulation model based on Nelson and Winter (1982) where R&D efforts of an incumbent firm generate technological know-how embodied in key R&D employees, who might use this know-how to found a spinoff of the incumbent. Venture capital is needed to finance a spinoff, and therefore the expected profits from founding a spinoff depend on how easily venture capital can be acquired. Accordingly, thick venture capital markets might have two opposing effects. First, incentives of firms to invest in R&D might be reduced and, second, if spinoff formation results in technological spillovers between the parent firm and the spinoffs, the generation of spinoff firms might positively influence the future efficiency of the incumbent's innovation efforts. We study how this tradeoff influences the effect of venture capital on the innovation expenditures, speed of technological change and the evolution of industry concentration in several scenarios with different industry characteristics.
    Keywords: Venture Capital, Technological Progress, R&D Effort, Spinoff, Industry Evolution
    JEL: O30 J30 L20
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara); Susanna Mancinelli (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: The paper addresses the relevancy of networking activities and R&D as main drivers of productivity performance and ouput innovation, for small and medium enterprises (SME) playing in a local economic system. Given the intangible nature of many techno organisational innovation and networking strategies, original recent survey data for manufacturing and services are exploited. The aim is to provide new evidence on the complementarity relationships concerning different networking activities and R&D in a local SME oriented system in Northern Italy. We first introduce a methodological framework to empirically test complementarity among R&D and networking, in a discrete setting. Secondly, we consequently present empirical evidence on productivity drivers and on complementarity between R&D and networking strategies, with respect to firm productivity and process/product output innovation. R&D is a main driver of innovation and productivity, even without networking. This may signify, in association with the evidence on complementarity, that firm expenditures on R&D are a primary driver for performance. The complementarity with networking is a consequential step. Networking by itself cannot thus play a role in stimulating productivity and innovation. It can be a complementary factor in situations where cooperation and networking are needed to achieve economies of scale and/or to merge and integrate diverse skills, technologies and competencies. This is compatible with a framework where networking is the public good part of an impure public good wherein R&D plays the part of the private-led driving force towards structural break from the business as usual scenario. Managers and policy makers should be aware that in order to exploit asset complementarity, possibly transformed into competitive advantages, both R&D and networking are to be sustained and favoured. our evidence suggests that R&D may be a single main driver of performance. Since R&D expenditures are associated with firm size, a policy sustain is to be directed towards firm enlargement. After a certain threshold firms have the force to increase expenditures. The size effect is nevertheless non monotonous. Then, but not least important, for the majority of firms still remaining under a critical size threshold, policy incentives should be directed to R&D in connection with networking, through which a virtuous circle may arise. It is worth noting that it is not networking as such the main engine. Networking elements are crucially linked to innovation dynamics; it is nevertheless innovation that explains and drives networking, and not the often claimed mere existence of local spillovers or of a civic associative culture in the territory. Such public good factors exist but are likely to evolve with and be sustained by firm innovative dynamics.
    Keywords: Firm Competitiveness, Innovation, R&D, Networking, Complementarity, Local Economic System
    JEL: D21 L25 O3 O14 Z13
    Date: 2007–04
  3. By: Francesco Crespi (University of Roma Tre); Valeria Costantini (University of Roma Tre)
    Abstract: The pollution haven hypothesis affirms that an open market regime will encourage the flow of low technology polluting industries toward developing countries, due to potential comparative advantages related to low environmental standards. In contrast, the hypothesis suggested by Porter and van der Linde claims for a competitive dynamic behaviour by innovating firms, allowing a global diffusion of environmental-friendly technologies. Environmental regulation may represent a relevant mechanism through which technological change is induced. In this way countries subject to more stringent environmental regulations may become net exporters of environmental technologies. This paper provides new evidence on the evolution of export flows of environmental technologies across different countries for the energy sector. Advanced economies, particularly the European Union, have given increasing attention to the role of energy policies as tools for sustaining the development path. The Kyoto Protocol commitments, together with growing import dependence of energy products, have stimulated the attention on the analysis of innovation processes in this specific sector. The analysis uses a gravity model in order to test the determinants and the transmission channels through which environmental technologies for renewable energies and energy efficiency are exported to advanced and developing countries. Our results are consistent with the existence of the Porter and van der Linde hypothesis, where environmental regulation represents a significant component of comparative advantages. What strongly emerges is that the stringency of environmental regulation supplemented by the strength of National Innovation System is a crucial driver of export performance in the field of energy technologies.
    Keywords: Environmental Regulation, Trade and Environment, Energy Technologies
    JEL: F18 F21 Q43 Q55 Q56
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Giovanni Prarolo (University of Bologna and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Francesco Lancia (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: Over the past century, all OECD countries have been characterized by a dramatic increase in economic conditions, life expectancy and educational attainment. This paper provides a positive theory that explains how an economy might evolve when the longevity of its citizens both influences and is influenced by the process of economic development. We propose a three periods OLG model where agents, during their lifetime, cover different economic roles characterized by different incentive schemes and time horizon. Agents’ decisions embrace two dimensions: the private choice about education and the public one upon innovation policy. The theory focuses on the crucial role played by heterogeneous interests in determining innovation policies, which are one of the keys to the growth process: the economy can be discontinuously innovation-oriented due to the different incentives of individuals and different schemes of political aggregation of preferences. The model produces multiple development regimes associated with different predictions about life expectancy evolution, educational investment dynamics, and technology adoption policies. Transitions between these regimes depend on initial conditions and parameter values.
    Keywords: Growth, Life Expectancy, Human Capital, Systemic Innovation, Majority Voting
    JEL: D70 J10 O14 O31 O43
    Date: 2007–04
  5. By: Arti (Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: Technology transfer costs have a profound influence on the firm’s entry mode into a production sharing relationship. To explore this nexus, we associate technological complexity of the off-shored input with the organizational mode of international production sharing by extending the Antràs (2005) model. We modify the Antràs model by proposing that the low-tech input, as qualified within the model, cannot be produced in the low wage south without costly technology transfer. The cost of technology transfer in turn depends on three factors, which are the technological complexity of this input, the absorptive capacity of the host country and the wages of the host country. Our model refines the results obtained in Antràs (2005). We find that 1. For high-tech goods, intra-firm transfer is preferred vis-à-vis outsourcing only for intermediate range of technological complexity of the off-shored input 2. On the other hand, for low-tech goods, where the likelihood of outsourcing is higher in Antràs, intra-firm offshore contract is still possible for low range of technological complexity. Our model has policy suggestions for host countries which aspire to maximize their benefits from the exploding global production phenomenon. As the wage gap between the source and the host country falls, cost considerations for offshoring disappear. New sources of comparative advantage should therefore be created in the host country by subsidizing technology investment and higher education to build higher absorptive capacity.
    Keywords: Outsourcing, Foreign Direct Investment, Technology Transfer, Absorptive Capacity.
    JEL: D23 F12 F23 L22 L33
    Date: 2007–05

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