nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2020‒09‒21
eight papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. Public research and the quality of inventions: the role and impact of entrepreneurial universities and regional network embeddedness By Holger Graf; Matthias Menter
  2. Heterogeneous Environmental Regulations, R&D Innovation and Manufacturing Enterprises' Export Technological Sophistication By Hu, Yuanhong
  3. Supporting Firm Innovation and R&D: What is the Optimal Policy Mix? By İrem Güçeri; Marko Köthenbürger; Martin Simmler
  4. Digital strategies in education across OECD countries: Exploring education policies on digital technologies By Reyer van der Vlies
  5. Endogenous sigma-augmenting technological change: An R&D-based approach By Kemnitz, Alexander; Knoblach, Michael
  6. Start-up factories, transnational entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystems: unpacking the lure of start-up accelerator programmes By Brown, Ross; Mawson, Suzanne; Lee, Neil
  7. Discrimination against foreigners in the U.S. patent system By Gaetan de Rassenfosse; Reza Hosseini
  8. Inter-organisational patent opposition network: How companies form adversarial relationships By Tomomi Kito; Nagi Moriya; Junichi Yamanoi

  1. By: Holger Graf (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration); Matthias Menter (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: The positive effect of public research on industrial innovations is beyond controversy: public research institutions produce knowledge that is subsequently transferred into product and process innovations by private businesses. Besides this rather passive role in commercializing inventions, public research institutions may also proactively exploit new knowledge through public sector entrepreneurship activities. Especially entrepreneurial universities are perceived as a conduit of knowledge spillovers, as they serve as central actors of innovation networks and stimulate network activities. Whereas the linkages between network embeddedness and innovation activities have been largely explored, the impact on patent quality in terms of radicalness, originality and generality remains rather unclear. Considering Germany’s diverse public research infrastructure (universities, polytechnics, and non-university research institutes), our findings reveal that the type of institution and the corresponding scientific orientation (basic vs. applied research) matter for the quality of inventions. Centrality of respective institutions within innovation networks thereby reinforces the radicalness of inventions. However, we do not find support for the general assumption that an entrepreneurial orientation of public sector entities augments the quality of inventions. We conclude the paper with policy recommendations as well as with future avenues of research.
    Keywords: patent quality, radical innovation, entrepreneurial university, network embeddedness, centrality
    JEL: O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2020–07–19
  2. By: Hu, Yuanhong
    Abstract: Based on the combined data of China Patent Database, China Industrial Firm Database and China Customs Trade Database from 2004-2010, this paper investigates the impact of heterogeneous environment regulation on the export technological sophistication of manufacturing enterprises. The results show that: the impact of control-type environmental regulation on enterprises' export technological sophistication is U-shaped, and has negative effect on mixed trade enterprises, eastern enterprises and foreign-funded enterprises. The impact of incentive-type environmental regulation on the enterprises' export technological sophistication is inverted Ushaped, and has positive effect on processing trade enterprises, mixed trade enterprises, domestic and foreign-funded enterprises. The impact of participative-type environmental regulation on the enterprises' export technological sophistication has an inverted U-shaped characteristic and has a positive effect on all kinds of trade pattern and ownership of enterprises. The result of mechanism analysis shows that control and participative environmental regulation affect enterprises' export technological sophistication through fundamental innovation and practical innovation, while incentive environmental regulation also affects enterprises' export technological sophistication through design innovation. Considering environmental governance issues has clear policy implications for enhancing the R&D innovation of the whole industrial chain and improving the export competitiveness of China's manufacturing enterprises.
    Keywords: Environmental Regulation,R&D Innovation,Export Technological Sophistication,DVA,Manufacturing
    JEL: F14 O44 F18
    Date: 2020
  3. By: İrem Güçeri; Marko Köthenbürger; Martin Simmler
    Abstract: This policy report provides an overview of firm R&D support policies used by European countries, reviews the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of these policies, and discusses implications for policy. Existing literature suggests that firm R&D support policies stimulate private R&D within a country and that in most cases, the positive impact of government support is stronger on smaller firms. Recent evidence also indicates that some of the policy instruments, such as patent box policies, are tools that multinationals use to lower their total tax bill through profit shifting. Despite the data issues that limit the ability to quantify the impact of tax incentives on global R&D, these recent findings together suggest that R&D support policies indeed promote national R&D activities. But governments also use some of these tax instruments to compete for R&D and mobile tax bases, which makes them less cost-effective in stimulating aggregate private sector R&D.
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Reyer van der Vlies
    Abstract: This working paper identifies OECD countries’ interests in digital innovation in education by analysing their policy papers on digital education. Many OECD countries have adopted a specific strategy on digital education, or integrated the topic in a generic strategy on digital innovation as such. The ideas that are expressed in the strategies differ greatly; some are work in progress, others contain bold envisions of the future. There is a high awareness among OECD countries of the benefits of digitalisation, and the role of government to support digital innovation in education. This paper covers and documents countries’ policy focus before the 2020 coronavirus crisis.
    Date: 2020–09–16
  5. By: Kemnitz, Alexander; Knoblach, Michael
    Abstract: There is now increasing evidence that for the U.S. economy, the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor, "sigma", is rising over time. To account for this, we propose a microfounded model, where the evolution of "sigma", and, hence, the shape of the aggregate production function occur endogenously. We develop a Schumpeterian growth model in which firms can undertake R&D activities that stochastically lead to the discovery of production technologies characterized by a higher elasticity of substitution between capital and labor. Improved possibilities for factor substitution mitigate the diminishment of the marginal product of capital and spur capital accumulation. Due to successful innovations, the steady state of the economy entails higher levels of the capital stock and the output good. Moreover, our numerical simulations show that the timing of innovations is important: two economies with the same steady-state elasticity of substitution between capital and labor can differ in terms of their steady-state levels of the capital stock and the output good.
    Keywords: Monopolistic competition,Endogenous elasticity of substitution,Functional normalization,Schumpeterian growth model
    JEL: E24 J24 J31 O33 O41
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Brown, Ross; Mawson, Suzanne; Lee, Neil
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of accelerator programmes in promoting transnational entrepreneurship. Designed to assist the growth of start-ups by providing seed finance and structured entrepreneurship support, these programmes are now a prominent feature in many entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Drawing on in-depth qualitative evidence focused on one particular programme, the paper shows accelerators play an important intermediary or ‘brokerage mechanism’ providing start-ups with enhanced relational connections and networks. Transnational entrepreneurs attracted to these programmes are highly focused on exploiting these networks whilst maintaining multiple levels of embeddedness in various contexts to maximize the opportunities afforded by accelerators. While many governments are attempting to replicate accelerators programmes within the public sector, the paper concludes that such attempts may prove problematic within weaker entrepreneurial ecosystems.
    Keywords: Transnational Entrepreneurs; Public Policy; Accelerators; Entrepreneurial Ecosystems; Networks
    JEL: R14 J01 F3 G3
    Date: 2019–05–04
  7. By: Gaetan de Rassenfosse (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne); Reza Hosseini (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne)
    Abstract: Inventions of foreign origin are about ten percentage points less likely to be granted a U.S. patent than domestic inventions. An empirical analysis of 1.5 million U.S. patent applications identifies three systematic differences between foreign and domestic patent applications that partly explain this bias. They include differences in patent agents, the financial resources of the applicants, and the level of effort that applicants put into the prosecution process. We find no evidence of disparate treatment (‘intentional discrimination’) of foreigners. Instead, our evidence points to a disparate impact (‘unintentional discrimination’) of the U.S. patent system on foreign inventors. Our results suggest unequal access to the patent system for foreigners compared to locals (but also for small U.S. firms). Giving examiners the power of (truly) rejecting a patent application may be one solution to level the playing field between foreigners and locals, but also between large and small firms.
    Keywords: foreign bias; discrimination; disparate impact; national treatment principle; patent system
    JEL: O34 K11 F52
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Tomomi Kito; Nagi Moriya; Junichi Yamanoi
    Abstract: Much of the research on networks using patent data focuses on citations and the collaboration networks of inventors, hence regarding patents as a positive sign of invention. However, patenting is, most importantly, a strategic action used by companies to compete with each other. This study sheds light on inter-organisational adversarial relationships in patenting for the first time. We constructed and analysed the network of companies connected via patent opposition relationships that occurred between 1980 and 2018. A majority of the companies are directly or indirectly connected to each other and hence form the largest connected component. We found that in the network, many companies disapprove patents in various industrial sectors as well as those owned by foreign companies. The network exhibits heavy-tailed, power-law-like degree distribution and assortative mixing, making it an unusual type of topology. We further investigated the dynamics of the formation of this network by conducting a temporal network motif analysis, with patent co-ownership among the companies considered. By regarding opposition as a negative relationship and patent co-ownership as a positive relationship, we analysed where collaboration may occur in the opposition network and how such positive relationships would interact with negative relationships. The results identified the structurally imbalanced triadic motifs and the temporal patterns of the occurrence of triads formed by a mixture of positive and negative relationships. Our findings suggest that the mechanisms of the emergence of the inter-organisational adversarial relationships may differ from those of other types of negative relationships hence necessitating further research.
    Date: 2020–09

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