nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2020‒10‒19
twelve papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. Patent Quality: Towards a Systematic Framework for Analysis and Measurement By Higham, Kyle; de Rassenfosse, Gaetan; Jaffe, Adam B
  2. Tapping into Talent: Coupling Education and Innovation Policies for Economic Growth By Ufuk Akcigit; Jeremy G. Pearce; Marta Prato
  3. The role of domestic-firm knowledge in foreign R&D collaborations: Evidence from co-patenting in Indian firms By Mathew, Nanditha; Napolitano, Lorenzo; Rizzo, Ugo
  4. “In knowledge we trust: learning-by-interacting and the productivity of inventors” By Matteo Tubiana; Ernest Miguelez; Rosina Morneo
  5. Crisis Innovation By Tania Babina; Asaf Bernstein; Filippo Mezzanotti
  6. Experience-based know-how, learning and innovation in German SMEs: An explorative analysis of the role of know-how in different modes of innovation By Alhusen, Harm
  7. Syndication networks and company survival: Evidence from European venture-capital deals By Christopoulos, Dimitris; Köppl, Stefan; Köppl-Turyna, Monika
  8. The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business Owners: The First Three Months after Social-Distancing Restrictions By Fairlie, Robert W.
  9. Institutional Roots of Economic Decline: Lessons from Italy By Marco Simoni
  10. Environmental regulation and productivity growth: main policy challenges By Roberta De Santis; Piero Esposito; Cecilia Jona-Lasinio
  11. Impediments to the Schumpeterian Process in the Replacement of Large Firms By Mara Faccio; John J. McConnell
  12. Flight to Safety: How Economic Downturns Affect Talent Flows to Startups By Shai Bernstein; Richard R. Townsend; Ting Xu

  1. By: Higham, Kyle; de Rassenfosse, Gaetan; Jaffe, Adam B
    Abstract: The ‘quality’ of novel technological innovations is extremely variable, and the ability to measure innovation quality is essential to sensible, evidence-based policy. Patents, an often vital precursor to a commercialised innovation, share this heterogeneous quality distribution. A pertinent question then arises: How should we define and measure patent quality? Accepting that different stakeholders have different views of this concept, we take a multi-dimensional view of patent quality in this work. We first test the consistency of popular post-grant outcomes that are often used as patent quality measures. Finding these measures to be generally inconsistent, we then use a raft of patent indicators that are defined at the time of grant to dissect the characteristics associated with different post-grant outcomes. We find broad disagreement in the relative importance of individual characteristics between outcomes and, further, significant variation of the same across technologies within outcomes. We conclude that measurement of patent quality is highly sensitive to both stakeholder viewpoint and technology type. Our findings bear implications for scholarly research using patent data as well as for policy discussions about patent quality.
    Date: 2020–09–23
  2. By: Ufuk Akcigit; Jeremy G. Pearce; Marta Prato
    Abstract: How do innovation and education policy affect individual career choice and aggregate productivity? This paper analyzes the various layers that connect R&D subsidies and higher education policy to productivity growth. We put the development of scarce talent and career choice at the center of a new endogenous growth framework with individual-level heterogeneity in talent, frictions, and preferences. We link the model to micro-level data from Denmark and uncover a host of facts about the links between talent, higher education, and innovation. We use these facts to calibrate the model and study counterfactual policy exercises. We find that R&D subsidies, while less effective than standard models, can be strengthened when combined with higher education policy that alleviates financial frictions for talented youth. Education and innovation policies not only alleviate different frictions, but also impact innovation at different time horizons. Education policy is also more effective in societies with high income inequality.
    JEL: J24 O31 O38 O47
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Mathew, Nanditha (UNU-MERIT); Napolitano, Lorenzo (Joint Research Center (JRC), European Commission); Rizzo, Ugo (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of foreign R&D collaborations on the performance of domestic firms and how the relationship is augmented by the pre-existing capabilities of the domestic firms. Using data on Indian firms, we study patterns of co-invention of Indian firms with foreign partners. The results from a causal mediation analysis confirm the crucial role played by domestic firms' absorptive capacity in enhancing the benefits from a foreign collaboration. The evidence we present in this work highlights the microeconomics behind the process of technological capability accumulation and catching up in developing countries.
    Keywords: Co-patenting, Foreign Collaboration, Absorptive Capacity, Capability accumulation, Corporate Performance
    JEL: D24 L20 O12 O32 O33 O34
    Date: 2020–10–05
  4. By: Matteo Tubiana (University of Bergamo); Ernest Miguelez (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113 - Université de Bordeaux); Rosina Morneo (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Innovation rarely happens through the actions of a single person. Innovators source their ideas while interacting with their peers, at different levels and with different intensities. In this paper, we exploit a dataset of disambiguated inventors in European cities to assess the influence of their interactions with co-workers, organizations’ colleagues, and geographically co-located peers, to understand if the different levels of interaction influence their productivity. Following inventors’ productivity over time and adding a large number of fixed effects to control for unobserved heterogeneity, we uncover critical facts, such as the importance of city knowledge stocks for inventors’ productivity, with firm knowledge stocks and network knowledge stocks being of smaller importance. However, when the complexity and quality of knowledge is accounted for, the picture changes upside down and closer interactions (individuals’ co-workers and firms’ colleagues) become way more important.
    Keywords: Inventors, Productivity, Stock of knowledge, Interactions. JEL classification: O18, O31, O33, O52, R12.
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Tania Babina; Asaf Bernstein; Filippo Mezzanotti
    Abstract: The effect of financial crises on innovation is an unsettled and important question for economic growth, but one difficult to answer with modern data. Using a differences-in-differences design surrounding the Great Depression, we document that local distress caused a sudden and persistent decline in patenting by the largest organizational form of innovation at this time—technological entrepreneurs. Parallel trends prior to the shock, evidence of a drop within every major technology class, and consistent results using distress driven by commodity shocks—all suggest a causal effect of distress. Despite this, we find that innovation during crises can be more resilient than it may appear at first glance. First, there is no observable change in the number of future citations, despite the decline in the number of patents filed. Second, the shock is in part absorbed through a reallocation of inventors into firms, who over the long-run produce patents with greater impact. Third, the results reveal no immediate brain drain of inventors from the affected areas. Overall, we demonstrate that crises can be both destructive and creative forces for innovation, and provide the first systematic evidence of the role played by the Great Depression in the long-run organization of innovative activity.
    JEL: G01 G21 N12 N22 N32 O3
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Alhusen, Harm
    Abstract: The 'doing-using-interacting mode' of innovation (DUI) is considered an important component of innovative activity. It describes informal innovative activities and complements the 'science-technology-innovation mode' (STI) which is based on research and development. A common demarcation criterion between both modes of innovation is the relevance of experiencebased knowledge, know-how and know-who for the DUI mode of innovation whereas the STI mode of innovation is said to rely on codified knowledge, know-what and know-why. Based upon 81 in-depth interviews with German SMEs and regional innovation consultants, this work focuses on the role of experience-based know-how for SMEs innovations within different modes of innovation. Experience-based know-how is found to be important for all modes of innovation, regardless of an SMEs mode of innovation. Results from qualitative interviews show that firms view experience-based know-how as important for at least one of the following domains: product innovation, business process innovation & organizational routines and customer knowledge. However, the acquisition, transfer and transformation of experience-based know-how can strongly differ, depending on the respective mode of innovation. As a recommendation, the idea that know-how is a suitable demarcation criterion for modes of innovation should be revised in future research.
    Keywords: DUI,STI,tacit knowledge,experience-based knowledge,learning processes,modes of innovation
    JEL: O3 O30 O31 R10
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Christopoulos, Dimitris; Köppl, Stefan; Köppl-Turyna, Monika
    Abstract: We look at syndication in the venture capital industry. Investments conducted by syndicates are believed to have better chances of being successful, measured by the survival probability of portfolio companies or by successful exits. Using a novel and large dataset, covering several countries, our analysis shows that strong network ties of investors are associated with success of portfolio companies in Europe. We also show that there are differences in the association of network centrality with survival between different financing rounds, the former being more important in early-stage investments. Finally, we show a strong association of network ties of investors with sales growth of portfolio companies, before and after the deal.
    Keywords: Venture Capital,Networks,Europe,Investment Syndication
    JEL: G11 G24 M13
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz)
    Abstract: Social distancing restrictions and health- and economic-driven demand shifts from COVID-19 are expected to shutter many small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, but there is very little early evidence on impacts. This paper provides the first analysis of impacts of the pandemic on the number of active small businesses in the United States using nationally representative data from the April 2020 CPS – the first month fully capturing early effects. The number of active business owners in the United States plummeted by 3.3 million or 22 percent over the crucial two-month window from February to April 2020. The drop in active business owners was the largest on record, and losses to business activity were felt across nearly all industries. African-American businesses were hit especially hard experiencing a 41 percent drop in business activity. Latinx business owner activity fell by 32 percent, and Asian business owner activity dropped by 26 percent. Simulations indicate that industry compositions partly placed these groups at a higher risk of business activity losses. Immigrant business owners experienced substantial losses in business activity of 36 percent. Female business owners were also disproportionately affected (25 percent drop in business activity). Continuing the analysis in May and June, the number of active business owners remained low – down by 15 percent and 8 percent, respectively. The continued losses in May and June, and partial rebounds from April were felt across all demographic groups and most industries. These findings of early-stage losses to small business activity have important implications for policy, income losses, and future economic inequality.
    Keywords: small business, entrepreneurship, business owners, self-employment, COVID-19, coronavirus, shelter in place restrictions, social distancing restrictions, minority business, female
    JEL: J15 J16 L26
    Date: 2020–09
  9. By: Marco Simoni
    Abstract: The economic decline of Italy since the mid 1990s is a critical case in contemporary political economy because its model of capitalism was deeply reformed at the time when its decline commenced. This paper argues that economic stagnation cannot be attributed to special interest politics, nor to the lack of market-friendly reforms in a globalized economic context, as previous literature argues. Instead, Italian economic decline is a consequence of institutional change which on the one hand has destroyed previous institutional complementarities, and on the other hand has led to an incoherent, or “hybrid,” setting. In the institutional spheres of corporate governance and labor, economic reforms established new institutions alternatively apt to support both strategic coordination and market coordination, resulting in institutional incoherence. In addition, building on the case of Italy and based on patent data relative to 19 OECD countries, this paper unpacks the link between institutional coherence and economic performance. It articulates a novel hypothesis according to which higher specialization in innovation patterns, derived from institutional coherence, also leads to higher overall innovation volumes. Hence, reforms that undermine a prevalent mode of coordination across the economy also undermine innovation capacity, leading to economic decline.
    Keywords: Varieties of Capitalism, Economic Growth, Italy
    Date: 2019–04
  10. By: Roberta De Santis; Piero Esposito; Cecilia Jona-Lasinio
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the environmental regulation-productivity nexus for 14 OECD countries over the years 1990-2015 and discuss its main policy challenges. Our findings support the hypothesis that environmental policies generate positive productivity returns through innovation as suggested by Porter and Van Der Linde (1995). We find that environmental policies have a productivity growth-promoting effect. Both market and non-marked based policies exert a positive but differentiated impact on labour and multifactor productivity growth. Environmental policy measures generate also potentially mixed redistributive impacts. As for specific polices, green taxes display the largest effect on multifactor productivity although with potentially negative redistributive impact. We also find that environmental regulation exerts indirect positive effect on productivity growth fostering capital accumulation especially in high ICT intensive countries.
    Keywords: Environmental regulation, productivity, innovation, Porter hypothesis
    Date: 2020–08
  11. By: Mara Faccio; John J. McConnell
    Abstract: Using newly-assembled data encompassing up to 75 countries and starting circa 1910, we find that the Schumpeterian process of creative destruction aptly describes the replacement of large firms by other firms, but exceptions to the norm of replacement are not rare and replacement is often not by new firms. Initial firm size and political connections represent the main obstacles to the Schumpeterian process while board interlocks and a corporate culture of innovation play modest roles. Consistent with a theory of political capture, when accompanied by regulations that restrict entry, political connections play a formidable role in abetting large firms remaining large.
    JEL: G3 G38 O16 P16
    Date: 2020–09
  12. By: Shai Bernstein; Richard R. Townsend; Ting Xu
    Abstract: This paper investigates how economic downturns affect the flow of human capital to startups. Using proprietary data from AngelList Talent, we study how individuals’ online job searches and applications changed during the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis. We find that job seekers shifted their searches toward larger firms and away from early-stage ventures, even within the same individual over time. Simultaneously, job seekers broadened their other search parameters, considering lower salaries and a wider variety of job types, roles, markets, and locations. Relative to larger firms, early-stage ventures experienced a decline in the number of applications per job posting, a decline driven by higher quality and more experienced job seekers. This led to a deterioration in the quality of the human capital pool available to early-stage ventures during the downturn. These declines hold within a firm as well as within a job posting over time. Our findings uncover a flight to safety channel in the labor market, which may amplify the pro-cyclical nature of entrepreneurial activities.
    JEL: E32 J22 J24 L26 M13
    Date: 2020–10

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