nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
sixteen papers chosen by
Steffen Lippert
University of Otago, Dunedin

  1. R&D, Worker Training, and Innovation: Firm-level evidence By Xulia González; Daniel Miles-Touya; Consuelo Pazó
  2. Absorptive Capacity and Innovation: When Is It Better to Cooperate? By Abiodun Egbetokun; Ivan Savin
  3. Dysfunctions of the patent system and their effects on competition By David Encaoua; Thierry Madiès
  4. Disentangling the effects of organizational capabilities, innovation and firm size on SME sales growth By André van Stel; Lorraine Uhlaner; Haibo Zhou; Valerie Duplat
  5. UK Innovation Index: productivity and growth in UK industries By Haskel, J; Goodridge, P; Wallis, G
  6. Investigating the impact of the technological environment on survival chances of employer entrepreneurs By André van Stel; José Maria Millan; Concepcion Roman
  7. Do business and public sector research and development expenditures contribute to economic growth in central and eastern European countries? A dynamic panel estimation By Pop-Silaghi, Monica; Jude, Cristina; Alexa, Diana; Litan, Cristian
  8. Business-Driven Innovation: Is it Making a Difference in Education?: An Analysis of Educational Patents By Dominique Foray; Julio Raffo
  9. Innovation without design ? The dynamics of role making and the gradual emergence of the collective designer By Rebecca Pinheiro-Croisel; Tor Hernes
  10. Conflict resolution, public goods and patent thickets By Dietmar Harhoff; Georg von Graevenitz; Stefan Wagner
  11. "Innovation and Finance: An SFC Analysis of Great Surges of Development" By Alessandro Caiani; Antoine Godin; Stefano Lucarelli
  12. The dynamics of innovation influents: contracts and sustainable energy innovation uptake By Satu Reijonen; Rebecca Pinheiro-Croisel
  13. Public-private partnerships versus traditional procurement: Innovation incentives and information gathering By Hoppe, Eva I.; Schmitz, Patrick W.
  14. Regional cluster policy: The Asian model vs. the OECD approach By Pessoa, Argentino
  15. The Pedagogy of Science and Environment: Experimental Evidence from Peru By Diether W. Beuermann; Emma Naslund-Hadley; Inder J. Ruprah; Jennelle Thompson
  16. Determinantes de la capacidad de innovación en Pymes regionales By Carlos M. Jardón

  1. By: Xulia González; Daniel Miles-Touya; Consuelo Pazó
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of R&D and on-the-job training on innovation performance in a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms. The role of formal R&D activities has been intensively investigated, but little reserch has been carried out on the role of human capital, as measured by firm-sponsored worker training, and even less has addressed the interaction between both activities. We analyze the complementarity between the effects of R&D and training on firm innovation success while distinguishing between large and small firms. Our findings suggest that R&D is a key factor in explaining firm innovation performance and that worker training investment also has a significant effect albeit one of less magnitude. The results confirm a complementary relationship: on-the-job training reinforces the effect of R&D on innovation performance.
    Keywords: R&D, Worker Training, Innovation, Probit
    JEL: L22 L11
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Abiodun Egbetokun (Graduate College "Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Ivan Savin (Graduate College "Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: Cooperation can benefit and hurt firms at the same time. An important question then is: when is it better to cooperate. And how can an appropriate partner be selected? In this paper we present a model of inter-firm cooperation driven by cognitive distance, appropriability conditions and external knowledge. Absorptive capacity of firms develops as an outcome of the interaction between absorptive R&D and cognitive distance from voluntary and involuntary knowledge spillovers. Thus, we offer a revision of the original model by Cohen and Levinthal (1989) accounting for recent empirical findings and explicitly modeling absorptive capacity within the framework of interactive learning. We apply that to the analysis of firms' cooperation and R&D investment preferences. While the focus of this paper is limited to a static scenario, where the cognitive distance between cooperating firms is fixed and given exogenously, in Savin and Egbetokun (2012) we address the dynamic approach and provide more extensive simulation results.
    Keywords: inter-firm cooperation, absorptive capacity, cognitive distance, innovation, knowledge spillovers
    JEL: C63 D83 L14 O32 O33
    Date: 2012–10–15
  3. By: David Encaoua (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Thierry Madiès (Department of Economics - University of Fribourg - University of Fribourg)
    Abstract: In this paper the authors argue that the contemporary tensions between patents and competition no longer reside in the traditional trade-off between the exclusionary right given to an inventor to encourage innovation, and the welfare loss induced by the market power associated to this right. They rather consider that the three following distortions of the patent system create important conflicts between patents and competition on the product market, the technology market, and the innovation market. The first distortion concerns the existence of dubious or weak patents. Too many patents are granted to applications of bad quality, in terms of the usual patentability criteria. This increases the uncertainty attached to patents, reduces the credibility of the system and calls into question the justification of the patent as a protective mechanism. Second, the configuration of a patent, originally designed in the context of an isolated innovation, is not adapted to the context of sequential or intergenerational innovations, in which an innovation relies on earlier patented inventions. Even though sequential innovation calls for fine delimitations between successive generations of innovators, the strengthening of intellectual property, including the extension of the patentable subject matters opened the door to opportunistic behavior and adversely affected the needed flexibility to favor technological exchanges. Third, the emergence of complex technologies, in which the use of a large number of fragmented patents is necessary to produce a new product, implies the necessity to coordinate the various patent holders' behavior. The potential entrants in these complex technologies are struck by the coordinated behavior of the patent holders, and this is illustrated in different settings such as the pooling of complementary patents and the licensing of essential patents by the members of a Standard Setting Organization. Very often, patents serve to create ambushes or to capture unjustified rents through excessive license fees, which in turn create barriers to entry for new competitors in the innovation market. Two important consequences of these distorsions are derived. On the one hand, the resolution of these conflicts cannot rely exclusively on the application of the antitrust law. Even if these distortions seriously affect competition in the three markets of products, technology and innovation, antitrust rules are unable to resolve the specific effects rose from distortions of the contemporary patent system. On the other hand, the existence of these distortions leads to a very expensive judicial implementation of the patent system. The multiplication of the conflicts due to a strategic use of patents, particularly in the information and communication technology, in biotechnology and medicine raises the question of the adaptation of the legal status of patents to the contemporary technological developments.
    Keywords: probabilistic right; private settlement; sequential innovation; patent pools; technological standard setting organization.
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: André van Stel; Lorraine Uhlaner; Haibo Zhou; Valerie Duplat
    Abstract: This paper focuses on certain drivers of SME sales growth related to knowledge and innovation. Building on the dynamic capabilities literature, we test whether two organizational capabilities (external sourcing and employee involvement in renewal activities) predict sales growth, and if so, whether such effects are mediated by process and/or product innovation. Based on survey data from a panel study of Dutch SMEs, and controlling for several firm characteristics (firm size, sector, age and family business), we conclude that external sourcing has direct effects on both product and process innovation, with an indirect effect (mediated by process innovation) on sales growth. In line with our hypothesis development, we also find that employee involvement, while positively affecting process innovation, has a negative effect on sales growth. Firm size moderates the effects of two of the variables (external sourcing and product innovation) on sales growth, with more positive effects found for the smallest firms, results supporting the nimbleness (versus resource-based) view.
    Date: 2012–10–11
  5. By: Haskel, J; Goodridge, P; Wallis, G
    Date: 2012–07
  6. By: André van Stel; José Maria Millan; Concepcion Roman
    Abstract: In order to mitigate the negative consequences of the current economic and financial crisis, it is of utmost importance that existing jobs remain intact as much as possible. In this respect, it is crucial that firms which employ personnel, survive. In this paper we investigate the role of the technological environment in determining the survival chances of employer entrepreneurs, defined as ownermanagers of firms which employ personnel. We estimate survival models to analyse durations as an employer entrepreneur, using micro panel data from EU-15 countries drawn from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). As indicators for the technological environment we use a country’s R&D expenditures, a country’s employment share of high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors, and a country’s number of patent applications to the European Patent Office. We find strong support for a positive relationship between these indicators of the technological environment in country j and year t and survival chances of employer entrepreneurs in that same country and year. Our analysis also suggests that a selection effect may be part of the explanation in the sense that in a more advanced technological environment, relatively more ‘high-quality’ individuals select into entrepreneurship. An implication of our novel finding is that innovation policy may contribute to survival of employer entrepreneurs, thereby safeguarding wage jobs in Europe, and achieving a lower waste of resources associated with firm exit.
    Date: 2012–10–09
  7. By: Pop-Silaghi, Monica (Babeș-Bolyai University); Jude, Cristina (Babeș-Bolyai University); Alexa, Diana (Babeș-Bolyai University); Litan, Cristian (Babeș-Bolyai University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of R&D expenditures in business and private sector on economic growth in Central and Eastern European Countries over the period 1998-2008. Using a Generalised Method of Moments estimator, we find that business R&D has a high and stable contribution to economic growth. Public R&D has no effect on growth but does not crowd out private activity. The paper also finds that part of the business R&D effect is accounted for by human capital. The results remain robust after considering macroeconomic control variables.
    Keywords: R&D; human capital; economic growth; CEE; dynamic panel-GMM.
    JEL: O32 O33 O52
    Date: 2012–07
  8. By: Dominique Foray; Julio Raffo
    Abstract: This paper analyses business-driven innovation in education by looking at education-related patents. It first draws a picture of the challenges for innovation in the formal education sector, which suffers from a poor knowledge ecology: science is hardly linked to core teaching and administrative practices. It then turns to a common indicator of innovation: patents. In the case of education, patents typically cover educational tools. An analysis of education-related patents over the past 20 years shows a clear rise in the production of highly innovative educational technologies by businesses, typically building on advances in information and communication technology. While this increase in educational innovations may present new opportunities for the formal education sector, the emerging tool industry currently targets the nonformal education rather than the formal education system. We shortly discuss why business entrepreneurs may be less interested in the market of formal education.<BR>Cet article porte sur l’innovation entrepreneuriale dans le secteur de l’éducation, à partir d’une analyse des dépôts de brevets dans le secteur éducatif. Premièrement, il propose un tableau des défis de l’innovation dans le secteur de l’éducation formelle, dont l’écologie du savoir est faible : la science y est peu liée avec le coeur des pratiques pédagogiques et administratives. L’étude porte ensuite sur un indicateur courant de l’innovation : les brevets. Dans le cas de l’éducation, les brevets couvrent généralement des « outils » éducatifs. L’analyse des brevets éducatifs durant les vingt dernières années montre une claire croissance de la production de technologies éducatives hautement innovantes par des entreprises privées, qui s’appuient souvent sur les progrès des technologies d’information et de communication. Bien que cette croissance des innovations éducatives puisse donner de nouvelles opportunités au secteur formel de l’éducation, l’industrie émergente d’outils éducatifs cible actuellement les secteurs informels d’éducation. Nous discutons brièvement les raisons pour lesquelles les entrepreneurs privés semblent moins intéressés par le secteur de l’éducation formelle.
    Date: 2012–10–03
  9. By: Rebecca Pinheiro-Croisel (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - Mines ParisTech); Tor Hernes (Department of Organization - Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: This paper explores innovation and social behaviourist theory in relation to sustainable urban projects in the highly institutionalized public sector (towns). Using empirical data from France, we examine the dynamics of a design process in which unexpected practices generated innovative urban design. We show how the fact that the design process did not follow the standard phases of planning meant that the actors redefined themselves in relation to one another. We point out how the absence of urban design plans during a precise phase of an innovative design process drew the actors into a movement of collective action, which presupposed the acquisition of a new identity. Ultimately, our objective is to combine social behaviourist theory and innovation theory and to facilitate innovative design in urban projects.
    Keywords: design process; innovation; urban studies
    Date: 2012–06–01
  10. By: Dietmar Harhoff (Munich School of Management, LMU Munich); Georg von Graevenitz (University of East Anglia in London); Stefan Wagner (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)
    Abstract: Litigation and post-grant validity challenges at patent offices provide an important mechanism for correcting erroneous patent grants. However, such challenges will only be initiated if the (expected) private gains from challenging a granted patent right exceed the respective costs. Two important aspects may influence the likelihood of challenges. First, there is a public goods problem: firms may refrain from challenges if they anticipate that others will also benefit from the revocation of a weak patent. Second, as more firms are caught up in patent thickets, challenges to weak patents will become too costly as they invite counter-challenges. We use data on opposition proceedings initiated against patents granted at the European Patent Office (EPO) to study the importance of these mechanisms. This paper identifies a significant increase in the incidence of opposition in technical fields characterized by high concentration of patent ownership. Additionally, in fields with a large number of mutually blocking patents, the incidence of opposition is sharply reduced, particularly amongst those firms that are caught up in and driving the growth of patent thickets. Thus, while post-grant reviews may help to resolve problems in some areas, they are less suited to deal with patent thickets and contexts with dispersed patent ownership. We discuss the implications of these results for efforts to deal with patent thickets and weak patents.
    Keywords: patent, patent thicket, post grant validity challenge
    JEL: K11 K41 O34
    Date: 2012–09–13
  11. By: Alessandro Caiani; Antoine Godin; Stefano Lucarelli
    Abstract: Schumpeter, a century ago, argued that boom-and-bust cycles are intrinsically related to the functioning of a capitalistic economy. These cycles, inherent to the rise of innovation, are an unavoidable consequence of the way in which markets evolve and assimilate successive technological revolutions. Furthermore, Schumpeter's analysis stressed the fundamental role played by finance in fostering innovation, in defining bank credit as the "monetary complement" of innovation. Nevertheless, we feel that the connection between innovation and firm financing has seldom been examined from a theoretical standpoint, not only by economists in general, but even within the Neo-Schumpeterian research line. Our paper aims at analyzing both the long-term structural change process triggered by innovation and the related financial dynamics inside the coherent framework provided by the stock-flow consistent (SFC) approach. The model presents a multisectoral economy composed of consumption and capital goods industries, a banking sector, and two household sectors: capitalists and wage earners. The SFC approach helps us to track the flows of funds resulting from the rise of innovators in the system. The dynamics of prices, employment, and wealth distribution among the different sectors and social groups is analyzed. Above all, the essential role of finance in fostering innovation and its interaction with the real economy is underlined.
    Keywords: Schumpeter; Innovation; Stock-flow Consistent Models; Monetary Circuit
    JEL: E11 E32 O31
    Date: 2012–10
  12. By: Satu Reijonen (Department of Organization - Copenhagen Business School); Rebecca Pinheiro-Croisel (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - Mines ParisTech)
    Abstract: Despite a growing interest, sustainable energy innovations encounter difficulties in attaining market success. This paper investigates the role of contracts, a hitherto understudied innovation influent, in generating more conducive conditions for sustainable energy innovations in building projects. With the help of two case studies we identify three dynamics evoked by specific types of building contracts with sustainability focus: the dynamics of thinking beyond the habitual, the dynamics of reverse calculation, and the dynamics of countability. These dynamics change the prevailing level of ambition of the project and the ways in which the benefits and costs are calculated and thereby create a strong entanglement of the sustainable energy innovation and the design project. Furthermore, the dynamics lead to favouring of uptake of existing innovations rather than generating completely novel solutions. The article concludes with a discussion about the possibilities of policy intervention for innovation supportive dynamics in construction projects.
    Keywords: innovation; sustainable energy; processuality; geothermal heating; bio-climatic design
    Date: 2012–08–28
  13. By: Hoppe, Eva I.; Schmitz, Patrick W.
    Abstract: A government agency wants a facility to be built and managed to provide a public service. Two different modes of provision are considered. In a public-private partnership, the tasks of building and managing are bundled, whereas under traditional procurement, these tasks are delegated to separate private contractors. The two provision modes differ in their incentives to innovate and to gather private information about future costs to adapt the service provision to changing circumstances. The government agency's preferred mode of provision depends on the information gathering costs, the costs of innovation efforts, and on the degree to which effort is contractible.
    Keywords: Public-private partnerships; Integration versus separation; Information gathering; Incomplete contracts
    JEL: D86 H11 L33
    Date: 2012–10
  14. By: Pessoa, Argentino
    Abstract: Nowadays, policy makers in charge of designing innovation policies, especially at the regional level, are more and more looking at the cluster approach either with a view to accelerate the existing clusters or for providing the basis for the emergence of new ones. In fact, not only as a consequence of their appeal as an interactive and territorially embedded vision of innovation but also owing to a lot of other reasons, clusters are usually considered as key instruments for promoting competitiveness, industrial development, innovation and growth. But, although cluster policies have a potential for generating benefits, the presence of potential benefits from cluster initiatives is not per se a sufficient foundation or a validation for policymakers to get involved, since clustering is something that has been happening spontaneously during time. The key question is whether and how policymakers can add value through appropriate measures, beyond the outcomes that markets and market players produce on their own. While there is an extensive literature that focuses on the cluster analysis, the connection between clusters and policy has been mainly ignored. This paper tries to shed light on this issue, highlighting the key features of both the cluster concept and policy. It also aims at contributing to diminish the existing gap between theory and policy comparing two broad models of cluster policy: the Asian and the OECD approach.
    Keywords: agglomeration; clusters; cluster policy; innovation; competitiveness; externalities; regional economic development
    JEL: R58 R1 L26 R11
    Date: 2012–10–17
  15. By: Diether W. Beuermann (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA); Emma Naslund-Hadley (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA); Inder J. Ruprah (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA); Jennelle Thompson (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA)
    Abstract: In today’s knowledge-based societies, understanding basic scientific concepts and the capacity to structure and solve scientific questions is more critical than ever. Accordingly, in this paper we test an innovative methodology for teaching science and environment in public primary schools where traditional (teacher centred) teaching was replaced with student centred activities using LEGO kits. We document positive and significant improvements of 0.18 standard deviations in standardised test scores. Such positive results are mainly concentrated within boys that were located above the median of baseline academic performance.
    Keywords: science, environment, Peru
    JEL: I21 I28 I29 O15 O31
    Date: 2012–10
  16. By: Carlos M. Jardón
    Abstract: The innovativeness is a core competence to innovate and therefore enhancing competitiveness, especially in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Such capability is constrained by internal and external factors. This article discusses how the company combines these factors to improve innovativeness. The company produces a core competence called human resource management and technology from internal intellectual capital. In addition, the company organizes another competency called core resource management and territorial relations from tangible resources associated with territory and intellectual capital as a result of the relationship with the environment. Using partial least squares techniques applied to a sample of small and medium enterprises in a region in northwest Spain is shown that both factors influence innovativeness. This study helps to define what the factors that enhance innovativeness are and how those factors associated company, indicating which the process of building core competencies to improve their innovativeness is. As a result, the article suggests for thought to develop policies to support business innovation. Resumen: La capacidad de innovación es una competencia distintiva que permite innovar y, en consecuencia, potencia la competitividad, especialmente en las pequeñas y medianas empresas (PYME). Dicha capacidad se ve condicionada por factores internos y externos. Este artículo analiza como combina la empresa dichos factores para mejorar la capacidad de innovación. Por un lado, la empresa genera una competencia distintiva denominada gestión de los recursos humanos y tecnológicos a partir del capital intelectual interno. Por otro lado, organiza otra competencia distintiva denominada gestión de los recursos y relaciones territoriales a partir de los recursos tangibles asociados al territorio y del capital intelectual fruto de las relaciones con el entorno. Mediante técnicas de Mínimos cuadrados parciales aplicados en una muestra de pequeñas y medianas empresas en una región del noroeste de España se demuestra que ambos factores influyen en la capacidad de innovación. Este estudio contribuye a delimitar cuales son los factores que potencian la capacidad de innovación y como la empresa asocia esos factores, indicando cual es el proceso de construcción de competencias básicas para mejorar su capacidad de innovación. Como consecuencia, el artículo sugiere elementos de reflexión para elaborar políticas de apoyo a la innovación empresarial.
    Keywords: Innovativeness, regional SME, core competency
    JEL: M21 M14 M10
    Date: 2012–09

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