nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2023‒04‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. Boosting, Sorting, and Complexity – Urban Scaling of Innovation Around the World By Tom Broekel; Louis Knupling; Lars Mewes
  2. Relatedness, Cross-relatedness and Regional Innovation Specializations: An Analysis of Technology, Design and Market Activities in Europe and the US By Carolina Castaldi; Kyriakos Drivas;
  3. How does the regional presence of foreign-owned multinational enterprises affect local start-up performance By Grillitsch, Markus; Martynovich, Mikhail; Nilsson, Magnus; Schubert, Torben
  4. Technology gaps, trade and income By Sampson, Thomas
  5. Heterogeneous regional university funding and firm innovation: An empirical analysis of the German excellence initiative By Krieger, Bastian
  6. Productive robots and industrial employment: The role of national innovation systems By Chrystalla Kapetaniou; Christopher A. Pissarides
  7. Academic Freedom and Innovation: A Research Note By David Audretsch; Christian Fisch; Chiara Franzoni; Paul P. Momtaz; Silvio Vismara
  8. Spatial Distribution of Regional Innovation Growth Capability and Policy Responses By Huh, Mungu; Kim, Yunsoo
  9. Strapped for cash: The role of financial constraints for innovating firms By Esther Ann Boler; Andreas Moxnes; Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe
  10. The Effects of Startup Acquisitions on Innovation and Economic Growth By Christian Fons-Rosen; Pau Roldan-Blanco; Tom Schmitz
  11. Informal Sector, Innovation and Growth By Chandril Bhattacharyya; Dibyendu Maiti
  12. Who stands on the shoulders of Chinese (scientific) giants? Evidence from chemistry By Pierre Azoulay; Shumin Qiu; Claudia Steinwender

  1. By: Tom Broekel; Louis Knupling; Lars Mewes
    Abstract: It is widely understood that innovations tend to be concentrated in cities, which is evidenced by innovative output increasing disproportionately with city size. Yet, given the heterogeneity of countries and technologies, few studies explore the relationship between population and innovation numbers. For instance, in the USA, innovative output scaling is substantial and is particularly pronounced for complex technologies. Whether this is a universal pattern of complex technologies and a potential facilitator of scaling, is unknown. Our analysis compared urban scaling in urban areas across 33 countries and 569 technologies. Considerable variation was identified between countries, which is rooted in two fundamental mechanisms (sorting and boosting). The sorting of innovation-intensive technologies is found to drive larger innovation counts among cities. Among most countries, this mechanism contributes to scaling more than city size boosting innovation within specific technologies. While complex technologies are concentrated in large cities and benefit from the advantages of urbanization, their contribution to the urban scaling of innovations is limited.
    Keywords: innovation, urban scaling, complexity, patents, sorting, geography of innovation
    JEL: R12 O33 O18 O57
    Date: 2023–03
  2. By: Carolina Castaldi; Kyriakos Drivas;
    Abstract: This paper examines how regions develop new innovation specializations, covering different activities in the whole process from technological invention to commercialization. We develop a conceptual framework anchored in two building blocks: first, the conceptualization of innovation as a process spanning technology, design and market activities; second, the application and extension of the principle of relatedness to understand developments within and between the different innovation activities. We offer an empirical investigation where we operationalize the different innovation activities using three intellectual property rights (IPRs): patents, industrial designs and trademarks. We provide two separate analyses of how relatedness and cross-relatedness matter for the emergence of new specializations: for 259 NUTS-2 European regions and for 363 MSAs of the US. While relatedness is significantly associated with new regional specializations for all three innovation activities, cross-relatedness between activities also plays a significant role. Our study has important policy implications for developing and monitoring Smart Specialization regional strategies.
    Keywords: innovation, relatedness, regional specialization, patents, trademarks, designs, NUTS-2 regions, Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
    JEL: O34 O38 R11
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Grillitsch, Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Martynovich, Mikhail (CIRCLE, Lund University); Nilsson, Magnus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Schubert, Torben (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses how the presence of foreign-owned multinational enterprises (MNEs) affects the performance of start-ups in the same region. Focusing on the population of Swedish start-ups and MNEs between 2007 and 2015, we investigate the relationship between start-up productivity and regional share of MNE employment. We find effects that differ by sectoral belonging of start-ups and MNEs. Notably, while the effects of the local presence of foreign-owned MNEs are negative when start-ups and local MNEs belong to the same sector, they are positive for the local presence of MNEs in related and (to some weaker extent) unrelated sectors. Moreover, we find that as start-ups mature the effect of the local presence of foreign-owned MNEs on start-up productivity increases, irrespective of their sectoral belonging. We interpret this as evidence of age-dependent processes of learning, legitimacy building, and resource accumulaton allowing start-ups to reap the benefits while mitigating negative effects of MNE proximity. Interestingly, we show that the documented effects are more pronounced for service firms, particularly in the knowledge-intensive sectors.
    Keywords: Productivity; start-ups; MNE
    JEL: M13 M16 R11
    Date: 2023–03–27
  4. By: Sampson, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the contribution of technology gaps to international income inequality. I develop an endogenous growth model where cross-country differences in R&D efficiency and cross-industry differences in innovation and adoption opportunities together determine equilibrium technology gaps, trade patterns and income inequality. Countries with higher R&D efficiency are richer and have comparative advantage in more innovation-dependent industries. I calibrate R&D efficiency by country and innovation-dependence by industry using R&D, patent and bilateral trade data. Counterfactual analysis implies technology gaps account for one-quarter to one-third of nominal wage variation within the OECD.
    Keywords: technology gaps; development accounting; comparative advantage; innovation; technology diffusion; endogenous growth
    JEL: D21 D24 D31 F14 O31 O33 O47
    Date: 2023–02–01
  5. By: Krieger, Bastian
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of heterogeneous university funding stemming from the German Excellence Initiative on a regional firm's probability to innovate by using a multi-valued two-way fixed effects difference-in-differences model. The estimations show that funding an additional Excellence Cluster focused on internationally competitive research within a labor market region increases a regional firm's probability to innovate between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points. This effect is driven by firms within labor market regions receiving a high number of Excellence Clusters. There is no statistically significant effect for receiving a low number of Excellence Clusters. Moreover, we find no consistent statistically significant effect of funding Graduate Schools concentrating on training scientists nor of funding University Strategies promoting the overall long-term plan of a university.
    Keywords: University funding, Firm innovation, Knowledge transfer
    JEL: O32 O33 O38
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Chrystalla Kapetaniou; Christopher A. Pissarides
    Abstract: In a model with robots, and automatable and non-automatable human tasks, we examine robot-labour substitutions and show how they are influenced by a country's 'innovation system'. Substitution depends on demand and production elasticities, and other factors influenced by the innovation system. Making use of World Economic Forum data we estimate the relationship for thirteen countries and find that countries with poor innovation capabilities substitute robots for workers much more than countries with richer innovation capabilities, which generally complement them. In transport equipment and non-manufacturing robots and workers are stronger substitutes than in other manufacturing.
    Keywords: robots-employment substitution, automatable tasks, complementary task creation, innovation environment, industrial allocations
    Date: 2023–03–15
  7. By: David Audretsch; Christian Fisch; Chiara Franzoni; Paul P. Momtaz; Silvio Vismara
    Abstract: The first-ever article published in Research Policy was Casimir's (1971) advocacy of academic freedom in light of the industry's increasing influence on research in universities. Half a century later, the literature attests to the dearth of work on the role of academic freedom for innovation. To fill this gap, we employ instrumental variable techniques to identify the impact of academic freedom on the quantity (patent applications) and quality (patent citations) of innovation output. The empirical evidence suggests that improving academic freedom by one standard deviation increases patent applications and forward citations by 41% and 29%, respectively. The results hold in a representative sample of 157 countries over the 1900-2015 period. This research note is also an alarming plea to policymakers: Global academic freedom has declined over the past decade for the first time in the last century. Our estimates suggest that the decline of academic freedom has resulted in a global loss quantifiable with at least 4.0% fewer patents filed and 5.9% fewer patent citations.
    Date: 2023–03
  8. By: Huh, Mungu (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade); Kim, Yunsoo (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade)
    Abstract: Concerns are mounting over the potential for weak future growth as the Korean economy faces a wide range of structural issues including an aging society, a crisis in key regional industries, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these concerns, the Korean government has established innovation growth as a national priority. In this essay, we extract regional innovation growth capability indices for 17 municipalities in order to analyze regional variation, spatial distribution, and characteristics of innovation growth capability. Based on this data, we provide recommendations for policy responses that are capable of promoting innovation growth capability. The analysis shows that the polarization in innovation growth capability between the Seoul Capital Area (SCA) and the province of Chungcheong and regions outside the SCA is deepening. This regional disparity in innovation growth capability has the potential to lead to a widening economic divide between regions. In the conclusion of the paper we identify the implications for regional innovation policy carried by the analytical findings.
    Keywords: regional economics; regional growth; regional innovation; regional policy; COVID-19; demographic change; population aging; population decline; innovation; innovation policy; Korea; regional disparity; regional inequality
    JEL: O11 O15 O18 O21 O25 O30 O33 O38 O47 R10 R11 R12 R13 R23
    Date: 2021–07–24
  9. By: Esther Ann Boler; Andreas Moxnes; Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe
    Abstract: This paper makes use of a reform that allowed firms to use patents as stand-alone collateral, to estimate the magnitude of collateral constraints and to quantify the aggregate impact of these constraints on misallocation and productivity. Using matched firm-bank data for Norway, we find that bank borrowing increased for firms affected by the reform relative to the control group. We also find an increase in the capital stock, employment and innovation as well as equity funding. We interpret the results through the lens of a model of monopolistic competition with potentially collateral constrained heterogeneous firms. Parameterizing the model using well-identified moments from the reduced form exercise, we find quantitatively large gains in output per worker in the sectors in the economy dominated by constrained (and intangible-intensive) firms. The gains are primarily driven by capital deepening, whereas within-industry misallocation plays a smaller role.
    Keywords: intangible capital, patents, credit constraints, misallocation, productivity
    Date: 2023–03–14
  10. By: Christian Fons-Rosen (University of California in Merced); Pau Roldan-Blanco (Bank of Spain); Tom Schmitz (Queen Mary University of London and CEPR)
    Abstract: Innovative startups are frequently acquired by large incumbent firms. On the one hand, these acquisitions provide an incentive for startup creation and may transfer ideas to more efficient users. On the other hand, incumbents might acquire startups just to “kill” their ideas, and acquisitions can erode incumbents’ own innovation incentives. Our paper aims to assess the net effect of these forces. To do so, we build an endogenous growth model with heterogeneous firms and acquisitions, and calibrate its parameters by matching micro-level evidence on startup acquisitions and patenting in the United States. Our calibrated model implies that acquisitions raise the startup rate, but lower incumbents’ own innovation as well as the percentage of implemented startup ideas. The negative forces are slightly stronger. Therefore, a ban on startup acquisitions would increase growth by 0.03 percentage points per year, and raise welfare by 1.8%.
    Keywords: Keywords: Acquisitions, Innovation, Productivity growth, Firm dynamics.
    JEL: O30 O41 E22
    Date: 2022–12–09
  11. By: Chandril Bhattacharyya (Centre for Development Studies Kerala); Dibyendu Maiti (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper applies the endogenous growth model with R&D in the presence of the informal sector. It establishes the existence of formal and informal sectors at the steady state, where the formal sector only can buy patented intermediate varieties. The patent for a finite period reduces the incentive to invest in R&D, thereby reducing growth. It further shows that the steady-state growth rate depends on the share of formal employment and vice versa. However, the extent to which the economy would grow depends on various country-specific factors, production-related characteristics and the cost of accessing production activities in the informal sector. As a country develops, we found that a drop in substitutability between formal and informal goods and a rise in formal wage rent with the development reduce the share of formal employment and growth rate. In contrast, improved formal productivity increases them. They together may produce a non-monotonic shape of growth and formal employment share with the level of development. JEL Codes: E26, O11 Key words: Informal Sector, R&D, Patent length, growth
    Date: 2023–03
  12. By: Pierre Azoulay; Shumin Qiu; Claudia Steinwender
    Abstract: In recent decades, Chinese researchers have become preeminent contributors to the scientific enterprise, as reflected by the number of publications originating from Chinese research institutions. China's rise in science has the potential to push forward the global frontier, but mere production of knowledge does not guarantee that others are able to build on it. In this manuscript, we study how fertile Chinese research is, as measured by citations. Using publication and citation data for elite Chemistry researchers, we show that Chinese authored articles receive only half the citations from the US compared to articles from other countries. We show that even after carefully controlling for the "quality" of Chinese research, Chinese PIs' articles receive 28% fewer citations from US researchers. Our results imply that US researchers do not build as readily on the work of Chinese researchers, relative to the work of other foreign scientists, even in a setting where Chinese scientists have long excelled.
    Keywords: research and development, international spillovers, economics of science, citations, patent citations
    Date: 2023–03–13

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