nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2011‒06‒18
eleven papers chosen by
Steffen Lippert
Massey University, Albany

  1. Do financial constraints threat the innovation process? Evidence from Portuguese firms By Filipe Silva; Carlos Carreira
  2. Open Innovation in a Dynamic Cournot Duopoly By I. Hasnas; L. Lambertini; A. Palestini
  3. Incentives for environmental R&D By Greaker, Mads; Hoel, Michael
  4. Mitigating "Anticommons" Harms to Science and Technology Research By Paul A. David
  5. The Nexus between Labor Diversity and Firm's Innovation By Pierpaolo Parrotta; Dario Pozzoli; Mariola Pytlikova
  7. Beyond Additionality: Are Innovation Subsidies Counterproductive? By Catozzella, Alessandra; Vivarelli, Marco
  8. In brief: Location, location, location: why geography matters for R&D By John Van Reenen
  9. Prizes, Patents, and Technology Procurement: A Proposed Analytical Framework By Brennan, Timothy J.; Macauley, Molly; Whitefoot, Kate
  10. Product innovation when consumers have switching costs By Evens Salies
  11. Patent examination at the State Intellectual Property Office in China By Johannes Liegsalz; Stefan Wagner

  1. By: Filipe Silva (Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra); Carlos Carreira (Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which R&D investment and innovation are financially constrained. For that purpose, we resort to the estimation of a selection model of R&D investment, a simultaneous equations probit model of innovation and constraints and cash to cash-flow sensitivities upon an unique and newly assembled dataset that comprises information on firms' characteristics, balance sheet information and data on firms' innovation activity. Our findings suggest that firms that do not invest in R&D and those that do not receive public funding are financially constrained. Finally, controlling for endogeneity, financial constraints severely reduce the amounts invested in R&D and seriously hamper innovation.
    Keywords: Innovation; R&D investment; Financial constraints; Firm-level studies; Portugal.
    JEL: O30 D92 G32 L00 L2
    Date: 2011–05
  2. By: I. Hasnas; L. Lambertini; A. Palestini
    Abstract: We analyze an Open Innovation process in a Cournot duopoly using a differential game approach where knowledge spillovers are endogenously determined via the R&D process. The game produces multiple steady states, allowing for an asymmetric solution where a firm may trade off the R&D investment against information absorption from the rival.
    JEL: C73 L13 O31
    Date: 2011–05
  3. By: Greaker, Mads (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Hoel, Michael (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Since governments can influence the demand for a new abatement technology through their environmental policy, they may be able to expropriate innovations in new abatement technology ex post. This suggests that incentives for environmental R&D may be lower than the incentives for market goods R&D. This in turn may be used as an argument for environmental R&D getting more public support than other R&D. In this paper we systematically compare the incentives for environmental R&D with the incentives for market goods R&D. We find that the relationship might be the opposite: When the innovator is able to commit to a licence fee before environmental policy is resolved, incentives are always higher for environmental R&D than for market goods R&D. When the government sets its policy before or simultaneously with the innovator's choice of licence fee, incentives for environmental R&D may be higher or lower than for market goods R&D.
    Keywords: R&D; environmental R&D; innovations; endogenous technological change
    JEL: H23 O30 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2011–04–18
  4. By: Paul A. David (Department of Economics, Stanford University)
    Abstract: There are three analytically distinct layers of the phenomenon that has been labeled “the anticommons” and indicted as a potential impediment to innovation resulting from patenting and enforcement of IPR obtained on academic research results. This paper distinguishes among “search costs”, “transactions costs”, and “multiple marginalization” effects in the pricing of licenses for commercial use of IP, and examines the distinctive resource allocation problems arising from each when exclusion rights over research inputs are distributed among independent owners. Where information use-rights are gross complements (either in production or consumption), multiple marginalization—seen here to be the core of the “anticommons” – is likely to result in extreme forms of “royalty stacking” that can pose serious impediments to R&D projects. The practical consequences, particularly for exploratory scientific research (contrasted with commercially-oriented R&D) are seen from a heuristic analysis of the effects of distributed ownership of scientific and technical database rights. A case is presented for the contractual construction of “research resource commons” designed as efficient IPR pools, as the preferable response to the anticommons. Creation Date: 2011-05 Revision Date:
    Keywords: law and economics, IPR, licensing, anticommons, patent hold-ups, royalty stacking, database rights, contractual commons, efficient pools
    JEL: L24 O31 O34 O38
  5. By: Pierpaolo Parrotta (Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University); Dario Pozzoli (Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University); Mariola Pytlikova (Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the nexus between rm labor diversity and innovation using a linked employer-employee data from Denmark. Specically, exploiting information retrieved from the comprehensive database and implementing a proper instrumental variable strategy, we are able to identify the contribution of workers diversity in cultural background, skills and demographic characteristics to valuable rm's innovation activity. The latter is measured by: (1) the rm's propensity to apply for a patent, (2) the number of patent applications (intensive margin) and (3) the rm's ability to patent in different technological areas (extensive margin). We nd that skill and ethnic diversity plays an important role in propelling rm's innovation outcomes. Conversely, the effect of demographic diversity typically vanishes once detailed rm-specic characteristics are included as control variables.
    Keywords: Labor diversity, patenting activity, extensive and intensive margins.
    JEL: C23 J24 L20
    Date: 2011–01
  6. By: Ceren Ozgen (Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam); Peter Nijkamp (Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam); Jacques Poot (National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA), University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The concentration of people with diverse socio-cultural backgrounds in particular geographic areas may boost the creation of new ideas, knowledge spillovers, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. In this paper we measure the impact of the size, skills, and diversity of immigration on the innovativeness of host regions. For this purpose we construct a panel of data on 170 regions in Europe (NUTS 2 level) for the periods 1991-1995 and 2001-2005. Innovation outcomes are measured by means of the number of patent applications per million inhabitants. Given the geographical concentration and subsequent diffusion of innovation activity, and the spatial selectivity of immigrants’ location choices, we take account of spatial dependence and of the endogeneity of immigrant settlement in our econometric modelling. We use the location of McDonald’s restaurants as a novel instrument for immigration. The results confirm that innovation is clearly a function of regional accessibility, industrial structure, human capital, and GDP growth. In addition, patent applications are positively affected by the diversity of the immigrant community beyond a critical minimum level. An increase in the fractionalization index by 0.1 from the regional mean of 0.5 increases patent applications per million inhabitants by about 0.2 percent. Moreover, the average skill level of immigrants (proxied by global regions of origin) also affects patent applications. In contrast, an increasing share of foreigners in the population does not conclusively impact on patent applications. Therefore, a distinct composition of immigrants from different backgrounds is a more important driving force for innovation than the sheer size of the immigrant population in a certain locality.
    Keywords: immigration, cultural diversity, economic growth, innovation, spatial autocorrelation
    JEL: J61 O31 R23
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Catozzella, Alessandra (University of Pavia); Vivarelli, Marco (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: Building on a standard policy evaluation literature mainly aimed at estimating the additional effect of subsidies on either firms' innovative expenditures or innovative outputs only, this paper tries to move one step further, combining the two (input and output) dimensions of innovation into a unique efficiency perspective. To this aim, the impact of public funding on the ratio between innovative sales and innovative expenditures (innovative productivity) is estimated using a sample of firm-level data drawn from the third Italian Community Innovation Survey (CIS). A bivariate endogenous switching model has been developed in order to free the analysis of any ex ante sources of sample selection and firm heterogeneity, at the same time getting rid of the two sources of endogeneity potentially affecting the results, i.e. the possible simultaneity between subsidy allocation and the qualitative composition of the innovative output, as well as the endogeneity of public support with respect to innovative performance. Results show that innovative productivity is negatively affected by the innovation subsidy; far from 'doing better' as a result of government intervention, supported firms appear to exhaust their advantage through merely increasing their innovative expenditures.
    Keywords: bivariate endogenous switching model, product innovation, policy evaluation, innovation subsidy
    JEL: O32 O38
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: John Van Reenen
    Abstract: John Van Reenen and colleagues assess the impact on growth of 'knowledge spillovers' between corporate research labs located close to each other
    Date: 2011–03
  9. By: Brennan, Timothy J. (Resources for the Future); Macauley, Molly (Resources for the Future); Whitefoot, Kate
    Abstract: Prizes are receiving increasing attention in policy and entrepreneurial communities as means to promote innovation, but their distinguishing features remain inadequately understood. Models of patents treat winning a patent as winning a prize; other models distinguish prizes primarily as public lump-sum (re)purchase of a patent. We examine advantages of prizes based on the ability to customize rewards, manage competition, generate publicity, and cover achievements otherwise not patentable. We propose a two-dimensional comparative framework based first on whether the procuring party knows its needs and technology, its needs but not its technology, or neither. The second dimension is the risk that the investment in research will prove profitable, where the greater the risk, the more the procuring party should share in it through ex ante cost coverage or payment commitment. Such a framework may be extended to cover other means of technology inducement, including grants, customized procurement, and off-the-shelf purchase.
    Keywords: prizes, procurement, contracts, patents, public sector, technological change, innovation, productivity
    JEL: O31 D21 H41
    Date: 2011–05–27
  10. By: Evens Salies (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Abstract: Economists have long recognized that in free markets, incentives to innovate will be diluted unless some factors grant innovators with a temporary monopoly. Patenting is the most cited factor in the economic literature. This survey concentrates on another factor that confers innovators with firstmover advantage over their competitors, namely consumer switching costs, whereby a consumer makes an investment specific to her current seller, which must be duplicated for any new seller. In this survey, we list several components of switching costs that are relevant as regards to firm innovation behaviour. The aim of this classification is twofold. First, consumer switching cost theory has matured to the point that some classification of switching costs for both understanding innovative firm behaviour and building policy-oriented models is necessary. Second, the classification included in this paper addresses the confusion that has been existing so far regarding the distinction between ‘good’ or ‘bad’ switching costs, perceived or paid switching costs, and between switching and search costs. This paper then surveys the existing literature on the effect of switching costs on product innovation by firms and the way they compete for consumers. We also raise several important regulation and competition policy questions, using examples from the real world.
    Keywords: Business Economics, Cognitive & Behavioural Economics, Competition policy, Consumer switching cost, Game Theory, History of Economic Thought, Industrial Competition, Innovation, Marketing, Microeconomics, Regulation, Search costs
    JEL: B21 D4 D83 L13 L14 L52 L96
    Date: 2011–03
  11. By: Johannes Liegsalz (BMW AG); Stefan Wagner (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)
    Abstract: The number of patent applications filed at the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office SIPO grew tremendously over the last decades and the SIPO has become the world’s third largest patent office by 2009. In this paper, we provide an overview of the institutional background of patent examination in China. Moreover, we empirically analyze the determinants of the grant lags applicants have to expect at the SIPO. The multivariate duration analysis is based on the population of 443,533 patent applications filed at the SIPO between 1990 and 2002. The average grant lag is 4.71 years with considerable variation across 30 different technology areas. Interestingly, we find that Chinese applicants are able to achieve faster patent grants than their non-Chinese counterparts (even after controlling for various other determinants of grant lags). This might be an indication of a differential treatment of Chinese applicants which would be in violation of Art. 3 (National Treatment) and Art. 4 (Most-favored Nation Treatment) of TRIPS that has been signed by China in 2001.
    Keywords: patent system, patent examination, State Intellectual Property Office China, duration analysis
    Date: 2011–05–31

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