nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
four papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner, University of Jena

  1. Innovation and the Enforceability of Noncompete Agreements By Matthew S. Johnson; Michael Lipsitz; Alison Pei
  2. Research and/or Development? Financial Frictions and Innovation Investment By Filippo Mezzanotti; Timothy Simcoe
  3. Innovation in the creative industries: Linking the founder's creative and business orientation to innovation outcomes By Koch, Florian; Hoellen, Max; Konrad, Elmar D.; Kock, Alexander
  4. Air Pollution and Green Innovation By Guo, Liwen; Cheng, Zhiming; Tani, Massimiliano; Cook, Sarah

  1. By: Matthew S. Johnson; Michael Lipsitz; Alison Pei
    Abstract: Worker mobility across firms can enhance innovation by spreading knowledge, but such mobility may also hinder innovation by making firms reluctant to invest in R&D. A common way that firms limit workers' mobility is with noncompete agreements (NCAs). We examine how the legal enforceability of NCAs affects innovation, as measured by patenting, using data on every state-level NCA enforceability change between 1991–2014. We find that making NCAs easier to enforce (“stricter” enforceability) substantially reduces the rate of patenting: an average-sized increase in NCA enforceability leads a state to have 16-19% fewer citation-weighted patents over the following 10 years. This effect reflects a true loss in innovation rather than a reduction in useless or strategic patents. We then reconcile these findings with contrasting theoretical predictions. Stricter NCA enforceability reduces job mobility and new business formation in innovative industries, suggesting slower knowledge spread. Within publicly-traded firms, stricter NCA enforceability increases investment, but still leads to less innovation, suggesting that any gains from enhanced incentives to invest are more than offset by other ways that NCAs slow down innovation. Finally, using variation in technology classes’ exposure to NCA enforceability changes, we show that the economy-wide losses to innovation from strict enforceability are even larger than what our state-level estimates imply.
    JEL: J38 O31 O38
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Filippo Mezzanotti; Timothy Simcoe
    Abstract: U.S. firms have reduced their investment in scientific research (“R”) compared to product development (“D”), raising questions about the returns to each type of investment, and about the reasons for this shift. We use Census data that disaggregates “R” from “D” to study how US firms adjust their innovation investments in response to an external increase in funding cost. Companies with greater demand for refinancing during the 2008 financial crisis, made larger cuts to R&D investment. This reduction in R&D is achieved almost entirely by reducing investment in research. Development remains essentially unchanged. If other firms patenting similar technologies must refinance, however, then Development investment declines. We interpret the latter result as evidence of technological competition: firms are reluctant to cut Development expenditures when that could place them at a disadvantage compared to potential rivals.
    Keywords: Research and Development, Financial Crisis, Technology Competition.
    JEL: O32 O31 G30 L20
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Koch, Florian; Hoellen, Max; Konrad, Elmar D.; Kock, Alexander
    Abstract: Creative industries contain paradoxes because conflicting tensions arise between the market and the arts. Entrepreneurs need to find and maintain a balance between those two sides to create innovation. This study tests the interaction between business and creative orientations of a founder in their influence on innovation in the context of creative entrepreneurial firms and provides recommendations for how creative agents can leverage and manage their innovations based on their creative visions. Determinants on the individual level, such as the founder's creative or business orientations, have a lasting impact on the practices and process of their venture. To trace the imprinting influence of the founder's orientation on innovation, the empirical setting is a time‐lagged study of German firm owners in the cultural and creative industries surveyed 5 years apart. The results show a significant relationship between creative orientation and innovation, whereas business orientation does not significantly relate to innovation. However, creative and business orientations reveal a negative interaction effect. This study contributes empirical evidence to the paradox theory and the interaction between the opposite poles. Our findings provide valuable insights about the relevance of creative orientation and its visionary impact on the firms' innovation process. Furthermore, the results shed new light on the tension between art and the market, as different compositions of the two orientation poles seem to have a varying impact on the degree of innovation. Thus, the study reveals the complexity of creative entrepreneurship and provides managerial guidance for other knowledge‐based industries.
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Guo, Liwen (University of New South Wales); Cheng, Zhiming (University of New South Wales); Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales); Cook, Sarah (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: With air pollution remaining a significant problem in many regions globally, an increasing number of environmentally conscious entrepreneurs have been taking initiatives to combat this issue, accompanied by a growing environmental awareness among the general public. To test the strength of this relationship, we use individual-level information from an enterprise survey in China in 2018 and conducted instrumental variable analyses to study the impact of air pollution on the green innovation behaviours of non-agricultural entrepreneurs. The results indicate that, on average, a one standard deviation increase in PM2.5 concentration is associated with a 4.3 percentage points increase in green innovation (or a 11.9 percentage points increase in green innovation intensity). Entrepreneurs' gambling preferences could potentially mediate the relationship between air pollution and green innovation, while expected firm income and actual firm income may act as suppressors. Specifically, entrepreneurs who launch their businesses following the implementation of environmental policies are more likely to adopt green innovation practices. This study provides insight into why there is a growing trend of environmentally-conscious entrepreneurs in regions with high levels of air pollution.
    Keywords: green innovation, air pollution, China
    JEL: J01 Q53 Q55
    Date: 2023–07

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