nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
ten papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. Beyond Trading: Knowledge Spillovers and learning-by-exporting in Global Value Chains By Holger Graf; Hoda Mohamed
  2. Employment versus Efficiency: Which Firms Should R&D Tax Credits Target? By Anna Bernard; Rahim Lila; Joana Silva
  3. R&D tax credits and the acquisition of startups By McShane, William; Sevilir, Merih
  4. How does Regional Entrepreneurship Transfer over Time? The Role of Household Size and Economic Success By Michael Wyrwich; Michael Fritsch
  5. Ideas Without Scale in French Artificial Intelligence Innovations By Johanna Deperi; Ludovic Dibiaggio; Mohamed Keita; Lionel Nesta
  6. Agriculture, innovation, and development: What happens when new technology is not good enough? By Puerto, Sergio
  7. Medical innovation, life expectancy, and economic growth By Kuhn, Michael; Minniti, Antonio; Prettner, Klaus; Venturini, Francesco
  8. Start-up Acquisitions, Venture Capital and Innovation: A Comparative Study of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft By Klaus Gugler; Florian Szücs; Ulrich Wohak
  9. R&D subsidies and Portuguese firms’ performance: A longitudinal firm-level study By Inês Teixeira; Aurora Teixeira; Luís Santos
  10. Repeated Innovations and Excessive Spin-Offs By Mella-Barral, P.; Sabourian, H.

  1. By: Holger Graf (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Economics Department); Hoda Mohamed (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Economics Department)
    Abstract: Does exporting intermediate goods induce learning from importers? In this paper, we examine to what extent learning from German industries can be explained by knowledge spillovers, channeled through the export of intermediate goods. Our study is based on a sample of 27 German trade partners in 14 manufacturing industries for the period 2004 to 2016. Using data on patent citations and trading in intermediate goods, we find support for the widely known “learning-by-exporting†hypothesis. Our analyses reveal that citations to German patents are positively related to exported intermediate goods weighted by German R&D expenditure. The relationship between these spillovers and learning seems to be particularly strong in certain industries. We also show that the level of absorptive capacity of the exporting trade partner, as measured by the number of researchers involved in R&D activities, plays a role in mediating these spillovers.
    Keywords: GVC, trade, intermediate goods, learning-by-exporting, knowledge spillovers
    JEL: F14 O14 O32 O33
    Date: 2023–07–07
  2. By: Anna Bernard; Rahim Lila; Joana Silva (Católica School of Business and Economics, Universidade Católica Portuguesa; Charles Rivers Associate; Católica School of Business and Economics, Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
    Abstract: R&D tax credits, by stimulating private sector innovation, can play a key role in promoting employment and firm performance. This paper examines the program impact on the trajectory of firms in terms of technology adoption, firm performance and workforce composition, and the extent to which it depends on the size of the targeted firms. It uses rich longitudinal micro-data on innovation, firms and their workers. Combining matching with a staggered adoption differences-in-differences, we show that tax credits increase investment in R&D-related activities while funds are being received, but not thereafter. Productivity and efficiency (but not employment) increase in large firms. These effects are driven by structural changes, both in terms of the increased share of skilled individuals within the firm (keeping the overall employment level constant) and enhanced technological adoption. In contrast, small firms mostly respond by increasing employment and production scale. Our results suggest that an important trade-off: R&D tax credit programs that target large firms are likely to lead to efficiency and productivity gains, but limited effects on employment of supported firms. In contrast, R&D tax credit programs that mostly benefit small firms may lead to employment gains in supported firms, but limited effects on structural changes in productivity and efficiency.
    Keywords: R&D tax credits, Innovation, SIFIDE, Matching, Differences-in-Differences
    JEL: O31 O38 H25
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: McShane, William; Sevilir, Merih
    Abstract: We propose a novel mechanism through which established firms contribute to the startup ecosystem: the allocation of R&D tax credits to startups via the M&A channel. We show that when established firms become eligible for R&D tax credits, they increase their R&D and M&A activity. In particular, they acquire more venture capital (VC)-backed startups, but not non-VC-backed firms. Moreover, the impact of R&D tax credits on firms' R&D is increasing with their acquisition of VC-backed startups. The results suggest that established firms respond to R&D tax credits by acquiring startups rather than solely focusing on increasing their R&D intensity in-house. We also highlight evidence that startups do not appear to benefit from R&D tax credits directly, perhaps because they typically lack the taxable income necessary to directly benefit from the tax credits. In this context, established firms can play an intermediary role by acquiring startups and reallocating R&D tax credits, effectively relaxing the financial constraints faced by startups.
    Keywords: indirect effects, innovation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), research and development (R&D), startups, tax credits
    JEL: G00 G34 H24 M13 O31
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Michael Wyrwich (University of Groningen, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Michael Fritsch (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: Mounting empirical evidence shows that regional differences of entrepreneurship are persistent over long periods of time that may reflect the prevalence of an entrepreneurial culture. We explore three important mechanisms behind the transmission of such an entrepreneurial culture. First, we analyze the role model effects at the household level. We hypothesize that the larger the households of self-employed, the greater the opportunities for role model effects such as an intergenerational transfer of entrepreneurial values and attitudes, and hence the higher the regional start-up rate in later periods. Second, we investigate how the economic success of regional entrepreneurs fuels the role model effects. Third, we analyze if and to what extent the economic success in of regional entrepreneurship stimulates a collective memory of historical entrepreneurship that spurs self-employment in later periods. The analysis of entrepreneurship in German regions over a period of more than 90 years provides support for the significance of all three transfer channels.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, intertemporal transfer, regional trajectories
    JEL: L26 R11 O15 J1
    Date: 2023–07–03
  5. By: Johanna Deperi (University of Brescia); Ludovic Dibiaggio (SKEMA Business School); Mohamed Keita (SKEMA Business School); Lionel Nesta (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (1965 - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015-2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur, OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: Artificial intelligence (AI) is viewed as the next technological revolution. The aim of this Policy Brief is to identify France's strengths and weaknesses in this great race for AI innovation. We characterise France's positioning relative to other key players and make the following observations: 1. Without being a world leader in innovation incorporating artificial intelligence, France is showing moderate but significant activity in this field. 2. France specialises in machine learning, unsupervised learning and probabilistic graphical models, and in developing solutions for the medical sciences, transport and security. 3. The AI value chain in France is poorly integrated, mainly due to a lack of integration in the downstream phases of the innovation chain. 4. The limited presence of French private players in the global AI arena contrasts with the extensive involvement of French public institutions. French public research organisations produce patents with great economic value. 5. Public players are the key actors in French networks for collaboration in patent development, but are not open to international and institutional diversity. In our opinion, France runs the risk of becoming a global AI laboratory located upstream in the AI innovation value chain. As such, it is likely to bear the sunk costs of AI invention, without enjoying the benefits of AI exploitation on a larger scale. In short, our fear is that French AI will be exported to other locations to prosper and grow.
    Date: 2023–06–26
  6. By: Puerto, Sergio
    Keywords: International Development, Productivity Analysis, Research Methods/Statistical Methods
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Kuhn, Michael; Minniti, Antonio; Prettner, Klaus; Venturini, Francesco
    Abstract: Despite an increasing recognition of the importance of health for economic growth, there is still a lack of understanding of the role of medical innovation in this process. Specifically, what are the causal effects of medical innovation on economic growth and which non-linearities matter in this context? To answer these questions, we propose an R\&D-based economic growth model with overlapping generations in which life expectancy depends on health care utilization per capita and on medical innovation and test the model's implications empirically. We show that a causal pathway from medical innovation to economic growth prevails with life expectancy being an important transmission mechanism. Non-linearities matter in the following way: in early stages of development, medical innovation does not have a positive effect on economic growth, whereas in intermediate stages, a positive and significant effect emerges. In late stages of development, when life expectancy is already very high, the effect becomes weaker and potentially negative because health improvements are increasingly difficult to achieve and become ever more resource intensive.
    Keywords: Medical innovation; industrial innovation; life expectancy; health; economic growth
    Date: 2023–07
  8. By: Klaus Gugler (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Florian Szücs (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Ulrich Wohak (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of big-tech acquisitions on the incentives for investment and innovation. Using data on several hundred acquisitions by Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft (GAFAM), we study the evolution of venture capital investment and patenting relative to control groups. The results show a clear negative impact on investment, while the effect on innovation depends on the acquirer and period. Both outcomes improve over time, as GAFAM firms become more similar in terms of their product and tech-portfolios, increasing competition. Yet, around 10% of acquisitions impact both metrics negatively.
    Keywords: M&A, big-tech, innovation, investment
    JEL: D22 G34 K21 L41
    Date: 2023–07
  9. By: Inês Teixeira; Aurora Teixeira; Luís Santos (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto & KU Leuven; CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto & INESC TEC; Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: The present study analyses the impact of subsidies to Research and Development (R&D), more specifically, the impact of QREN (Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional)’s Sistema de Incentivos à Investigação e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico nas Empresa (SI I&DT QREN), on the performance of firms. A relatively wide range of studies explores the relationship between subsidies to R&D and firms’ performance. Nevertheless, no consensus has been reached. Furthermore, the literature that analyses the impact of R&D subsidies in non-market-centred and moderate innovative economies like Portugal is quite scarce and limited. The information used in this empirical study concerns the period between 2008-2017, and it was collected from the Operational Competitiveness Programme (COMPETE) included in QREN and complemented with economic and financial data gathered from the Annual System of Iberian Balances (SABI) database. We compared the performance of firms that in 2014 succeeded in obtaining subsidies to R&D with similar firms that did not receive subsidies. Resorting to information on a set of relevant variables in the period before obtaining the subsidy (2008-2013), we established a trustable comparison group using the Propensity Score Matching (PSM). Then, based on the Average Treatment Effect on the Treated (ATT), we compared firms that received subsidies with those that did not use outcome variables of 2017 (three years after the subsidy), most notably employment, labour productivity, operational results, and exports. Results show that firms that received a public subsidy to R&D three years after receiving the subsidy have higher employment levels and export propensity than those that did not. Notwithstanding, no statistically significant differences were encountered in terms of labour productivity or overall financial performance.
    Keywords: R&D subsidies; firms’ performance; propensity score matching; Portugal
    JEL: C31 L25 O32
    Date: 2023–07
  10. By: Mella-Barral, P.; Sabourian, H.
    Abstract: Firms can voluntarily create independent firms to implement their technologically distant innovations and capture their value through capital markets. We argue that when firms repeatedly compete to make innovations, there is inefficient external implementation of innovations and “excessive†creation of such firms. This inefficiency is most exacerbated in the early stages of an industry, when the number of firms is still limited.
    Keywords: Repeated Innovations, Spin-Offs, Voluntary Firm Creation
    JEL: M13 O31 O33
    Date: 2023–06–30

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