nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2021‒01‒04
sixteen papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. The present, past, and future of labor-saving technologies By Jacopo Staccioli; Maria Enrica Virgillito
  2. From Discovery to Commercialization: Accretive Intellectual Property Strategies among Small, Knowledge-Based Firms By Hayter, Christopher; Link, Albert
  3. Government financing of R&D: A mechanism design approach By Saul Lach; Zvika Neeman; Mark Schankerman
  4. Lockdowns and Innovation: Evidence from the 1918 Flu Pandemic By Enrico Berkes; Olivier Deschenes; Ruben Gaetani; Jeffrey Lin; Christopher Severen
  5. INDUSTRIAL POLICIES: Common Not Rare By Richard G. Lipsey; Kenneth I. Carlaw
  6. Standard-Essential Patents and Incentives for Innovation By Wipusanawan, Chayanin
  7. Strategic use of environmental innovation in vertical chains and regulatory attitudes By Mabrouk, R.; Kurtyka, O.
  8. Firm Patenting and Types of innovation in Least Developed Countries. An Empirical Investigation on Patenting Determinants By Mounir Amdaoud; Christian Le Bas
  9. Downstream new product development and upstream process innovation By Akio Kawasaki; Tomomichi Mizuno; Kazuhiro Takauchi
  10. Academic engagement with industry: the role of research quality and experience By Scandura, Alessandra; Iammarino, Simona
  11. The Diffusion of Technological Progress in ICT By Steffen Elstner; Christian Grimme; Valentin Kecht; Robert Lehmann
  12. Product Innovations, Process Innovations and Foreign Direct Investment: New Theoretical Aspects and Empirical Findings By Paul J.J. Welfens
  13. Directed technical change and the British Industrial Revolution By David I. Stern; John C. V. Pezzey; Yingying Lu
  14. Organizational Drivers of Innovation: The Role of Workforce Agility By F. Landini; C. Franco
  15. How cumulative is technological knowledge? By P. G. J. Persoon; R. N. A. Bekkers; F. Alkemade
  16. Patent assertion entities and patent ownership transparency: strategic recording of patent transactions at the USPTO By Valerio STERZI

  1. By: Jacopo Staccioli; Maria Enrica Virgillito
    Abstract: The present chapter provides a historical reappraisal of labor-saving technologies. It reviews and systematizes theoretical contributions and empirical findings documenting the presence of labor- and time-saving heuristics in innovative efforts back since the First Industrial Revolution. More in detail, with the help of various patent analyses, the chapter documents the presence of labor-saving heuristics in the latest wave of technological innovation, detecting the human functions substituted by the underlying technologies. Against a reductionist approach conceiving robots as the only threat for labor displacement, it shall be argued that labor-saving technologies consist of a complex and heterogeneous bundle of innovations uncovering a much wider set of artifacts and functions. Motivated by the recurrent debate on the threats of automation occurring in the last couple of centuries, evidence is provided on the existence of long waves and clusters in relevant innovations, discussing how the overall cluster of labor-saving technologies consists of heterogeneous and often independent innovations following remarkably different time-trajectories. The chapter closes with an outline of potential future trends in labor-saving technologies and room for policy actions.
    Keywords: Human-Machine Relationship; History of Technology; Labor-Saving Heuristics.
    Date: 2020–12–14
  2. By: Hayter, Christopher (Arizona State University); Link, Albert (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper explores the use of publications and patents and their covariates among small, knowledge-based firms pursuing technology commercialization. It does so through an empirical examination of 1180 small firms’ R&D projects, all of which were funded through Phase II U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. As such, the paper responds to recent calls to investigate not only how small, knowledge-based firms utilize specific IP strategies, but also how accretive logic specifically differs from competitive publishing and patenting logic.
    Keywords: Patents; Publications; Intellectual property; R&D; Strategy;
    JEL: L21 L26 O32 O34
    Date: 2020–12–14
  3. By: Saul Lach; Zvika Neeman; Mark Schankerman
    Abstract: We study how to design an optimal government loan program for risky R&D projects with positive externalities. With adverse selection, the optimal government contract involves a high interest rate but nearly zero co-financing by the entrepreneur. This contrasts sharply with observed loan schemes. With adverse selection and moral hazard (two effort levels), the optimal policy consists of a menu of at most two contracts, one with high interest and zero self-financing, and a second with a lower interest plus co-financing. Calibrated simulations assess welfare gains from the optimal policy, observed loan programs, and a direct subsidy to private venture capital firms. The gains vary with the size of the externalities, cost of public funds, and effectiveness of the private VC industry.
    Keywords: mechanism design, innovation, R&D, entrepreneurship, additionality, government finance, venture capital
    JEL: D61 D82 O32 O38
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Enrico Berkes; Olivier Deschenes; Ruben Gaetani; Jeffrey Lin; Christopher Severen
    Abstract: Does social distancing harm innovation? We estimate the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs)—policies that restrict interactions in an attempt to slow the spread of disease—on local invention. We construct a panel of issued patents and NPIs adopted by 50 large US cities during the 1918 flu pandemic. Difference-in-differences estimates show that cities adopting longer NPIs did not experience a decline in patenting during the pandemic relative to short-NPI cities, and recorded higher patenting afterward. Rather than reduce local invention by restricting localized knowledge spillovers, NPIs adopted during the pandemic may have better preserved other inventive factors.
    JEL: N92 O31 R11
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Richard G. Lipsey (Simon Fraser University); Kenneth I. Carlaw (UBC Okanagan)
    Abstract: This paper reviews some of the myriad, often complex, ways in which the private and public sectors interact in the invention and innovation of the new technologies that are a major driver of economic growth. Several terms have been used to describe the public sector’s activities in these matters: technology enhancement policy, innovation policy, industrial policy, and national systems of innovation. We use the term Industrial Policies to cover all the public sector’s activities that, either directly or indirectly, encourage technological advance. We first outline some important concepts and definitions: two views of the place of the public sector in technological advance; the definition of technology and the facilitating structure; the main public sector organisations that encourage technological advance; the four evolutionary trajectories of a new technology: invention, efficiency, applications and diffusion; the growing importance of science in technological advance; and an overview of a successful industrial policy. In Section II we study 13 important technologies developed over the last century and a half, showing the extent that the public sector has provided finance for the various trajectories of these technologies. In Section III we consider nine public policies designed to encourage technological advance in general. Then in section IV, we discuss over 20 cases in which the government has attempted to pick and encourage specific winners, some of which were successes while others were failures. After each of our case studies in our three main sections, we offer at least one tentative lesson concerning the conditions that favour success and/or that tend to lead to failure. Section V offers a few concluding remarks ending with the statement that “The cases considered here reveal that those who would dismiss industrial policy with statements such as ‘Governments cannot pick winners’ are relying on an empty slogan to avoid detailed consideration of the actual complicated, multifaceted relationship between the private and public sectors in encouraging the inventions and innovations that are the root of economic growth.
    Keywords: policy, technology enhancement, innovation, industrial policy
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Wipusanawan, Chayanin (Tilburg University, TILEC)
    Keywords: standardisation; standard-essential patents; FRAND; innovation incentives
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Mabrouk, R.; Kurtyka, O.
    Abstract: We analyze firms' choice of abatement technology in vertical chains. A downstream polluting monopoly can buy a license from an upstream supplier with mature end-of-pipe equipment (outsider) or develop an in-house clean technology. Insiders innovation may be undertaken only to increase bargaining power of the polluter. We put the light on the strategic role of environmental regulation to influence this choice. We find that the role of regulator as a technology forcing authority is confirmed in regions of under-investment. However, under certain conditions, an over-investment occurs that forces the regulator to become laxer. Paradoxically, the regulator may oppose innovation even if the resulting technology is used by the innovator. All these results rely upon the creation of total profits from the integrated vertical structure.
    JEL: D43 H23 L13 Q42 Q58
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Mounir Amdaoud (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université Sorbonne Paris Nord - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - LABEX ICCA - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP - Université de Paris - Université Sorbonne Paris Nord); Christian Le Bas
    Abstract: This paper aims to account for the determinants of firm patenting behaviour in developing countries. The literature has accumulated numerous evidence and trends as far as developed countries' firm patenting is concerned. However, only a small amount of information concerning least developed countries' firm patenting is available. With the present study we wish to fill this gap creatively. The core assumption of this paper is that the occurrence of firm patenting is positively related with innovation strategies. As a result we place the emphasis on the diverse ways to innovate and account for the effects on a firm's probability to patent. Our findings indicate that despite the weaknesses of their patenting system in least developed countries (LDCs) there is no huge gap between the determinants of patenting behaviour from firms in these countries, and those the literature considers to be important for developed countries firms.
    Keywords: Patent,appropriation,innovation,developing economies. JEL Codes : O31,O32,O33,O34
    Date: 2020–12–12
  9. By: Akio Kawasaki (Faculty of Economics, Oita University); Tomomichi Mizuno (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University); Kazuhiro Takauchi (Faculty of Business and Commerce,Kansai University)
    Abstract: This study considers the role of the upstream process research and development (R&D) when downstream develops new products. We build a model in which an upstream firm conducts cost-reducing investment and two downstream firms develop new products. We assume that all products are differentiated. We show that downstream product development promotes upstream investment. We also demonstrate that downstream product development is a strategic complement if upstream R&D efficiency is high, while it is a strategic substitute if it is low. This implies that the occurrence of complementary equilibrium does not need asymmetry in the differentiated final-product markets and is in sharp contrast to the previous study.
    Date: 2020–12
  10. By: Scandura, Alessandra; Iammarino, Simona (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This work explores the role of university department characteristics on academic engagement with industry. In particular, we investigate the role played by research quality and previous experience across different scientific disciplines. We test our hypotheses on a dataset of publicly funded university-industry partnerships in the UK, combined with data from the UK Research Assessment Exercises 2001 and 2008. Our data reveal a negative link between academic quality and the level of engagement with industry for departments in the basic sciences, and a positive relationship for departments in the applied sciences. Our results further show that the role of research quality for academic engagement tightly depends on the level of department previous experience in university-industry partnerships, notably in the basic sciences, where experience acts as a moderating factor. The findings of this work are highly relevant for policy makers and university managers, and contribute to the innovation literature focused on the investigation of the determinants of valuable knowledge transfer practices in academia.
    Date: 2020–10
  11. By: Steffen Elstner; Christian Grimme; Valentin Kecht; Robert Lehmann
    Abstract: We study whether technology gains in sectors related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) increase productivity in the rest of the economy. To separate exogenous gains in ICT from other technological progress, we use the relative price of ICT goods and services in a structural VAR with medium-run restrictions. Using local projections to estimate the effect of ICT-related technology gains on sectoral technology (TFP), we find two sets of results. First, since the mid-2000s there have been positive and persistent technology spillovers to sectors intensively using ICT. Second, neglecting leasing activity leads to an overestimation of the TFP response for all sectors except the leasing sector, where it is strongly underestimated.
    Keywords: digitization, information and communications technology, technology shocks, local projections, structural VARs, medium-run restrictions, growth accounting
    JEL: C32 D24 E22 E24 O33 O47 O52
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Paul J.J. Welfens (Europäisches Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW))
    Abstract: The distinction between product innovations and process innovations is crucial for industrialized countries as well as for newly industrialized countries - and only a distinct consideration of product innovations in macroeconomic modeling allows to fully understand Schumpeterian innovation dynamics and their national and international impact. With this focus, initially a simple microeconomic modelling of product versus process innovation is considered in a setting with both inward and outward foreign direct investment, largely following the Bertschek approach. Results from the European Union's Community Innovation Survey are considered as well as relative export unit values - relative to the US EUV - which are a proxy for product innovations in the tradables sector. Regression results show that inward FDI raise both product innovations and process innovations in the EU. The key aspects of both process innovations and product innovations are then considered in an open economy macro model which brings many new insights, including a much better understanding of the links between innovation dynamics, the current account, FDI, the real exchange rate, output and inflation. Product innovations have a different impact on the real exchange rate than process innovations and a dynamic view of the Vernon product cycle is required for an adequate analysis. As regards the demand for money, product innovations affect this demand in a different way to process innovations. Optimal product innovations are also considered. Innovations in Schumpeterian macroeconomics thus gets crucial new perspectives.
    Keywords: Innovation, product innovation, foreign direct investment, macro modeling, US, EU
    JEL: C6 F21 O30 O31
    Date: 2020–12
  13. By: David I. Stern; John C. V. Pezzey; Yingying Lu
    Abstract: We build a directed technical change model where one intermediate goods sector uses a fixed quantity of biomass energy (“wood”) and another uses coal at a fixed price, matching stylized facts for the British Industrial Revolution. Unlike previous research, we do not assume the level or growth rate of productivity is inherently higher in the coal-using sector. Analytically, greater initial wood scarcity, initial relative knowledge of coal-using technologies, and/or population growth will boost an industrial revolution, while the converse may prevent one forever. An industrial revolution, with eventual dominance by the coal-using sector, is the model's main dynamic outcome, but not inevitable if inter-good substitutability is high enough. Empirical calibration for 1560-1900 produces historically plausible results for changes in energy-related variables during British industrialization, and through counterfactual simulations confirms that it was the growing relative scarcity of wood caused by population growth that resulted in innovation to develop coal-using machines.
    Keywords: Economic growth, economic history, energy, coal, structural change
    JEL: N13 N73 O33 O41 Q43
    Date: 2020
  14. By: F. Landini; C. Franco
    Abstract: The interplay between organization practices and innovation is highly relevant in modern business. This paper analyzes whether a specific organizational dimension, namely workforce agility, affects innovative performance. We rationalize this effect within an organizational economics perspective that stresses the role of behavioral motives and skill variety in the innovation process. In particular, we distinguish the contribution of two components: time agility and task agility. Using a sample of nearly 20000 private-sector workplaces in 32 countries, we report conditional correlations between workforce agility and innovation that are consistent with our framework. Establishments with higher workforce agility are more likely to innovate. This relationship holds also when we consider different types of innovation and we distinguish between time and task agility. The analysis of managers’ perceptions about internal working climate and information exchange activities suggest that this effect is likely be driven by the fact that workforce agility improves work motivation and knowledge transmission at the workplace level, favouring innovation. Managerial and policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: workforce agility, task agility, time agility, innovation
    Date: 2020
  15. By: P. G. J. Persoon; R. N. A. Bekkers; F. Alkemade
    Abstract: Technological cumulativeness is considered one of the main mechanisms for technological progress, yet its exact meaning and dynamics often remain unclear. To develop a better understanding of this mechanism we approach a technology as a body of knowledge consisting of interlinked inventions. Technological cumulativeness can then be understood as the extent to which inventions build on other inventions within that same body of knowledge. The cumulativeness of a technology is therefore characterized by the structure of its knowledge base, which is different from, but closely related to, the size of its knowledge base. We analytically derive equations describing the relation between the cumulativeness and the size of the knowledge base. In addition, we empirically test our ideas for a number of selected technologies, using patent data. Our results suggest that cumulativeness increases proportionally with the size of the knowledge base, at a rate which varies considerably across technologies. At the same time we find that across technologies, this rate is inversely related to the rate of invention over time. This suggests that the cumulativeness increases relatively slow in rapidly growing technologies. In sum, the presented approach allows for an in-depth, systematic analysis of cumulativeness variations across technologies and the knowledge dynamics underlying technology development.
    Date: 2020–11
  16. By: Valerio STERZI
    Abstract: Many PAEs hide behind dozens of unknown subsidiaries or shell companies with obscure ownership. Meanwhile, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), like many other patent offices, does not impose a strict time period for recording the change of ownership of a patent, allowing the holder to gain an advantage by controlling the timing of its ownership disclosure. In this paper we analyze recording lags in patent transactions (defined as the time lag from the execution of the patent assignment to USPTO recording) and show that PAEs strategically notify the patent office of the transaction as a function of their litigation strategies. In particular, OLS estimates suggest that for every ten days that separate the date of the start of the litigation from the execution of the patent transaction, PAEs delay the recordation of the transaction by almost four days (while the lag is about two days when the assignee is a product company). Longer recording lags are especially,associated with transactions related to patents transferred to PAEs in the ICT sector, that are litigated in the District Court in the Eastern District of Texas and that are acquired by PAEs through unknown subsidiaries.
    Keywords: Non-practicing entities; Patent trolls; Patent litigation; Patent ownership transparency
    JEL: O31 O34 D23
    Date: 2020

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