nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
twelve papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Access to vs. exclusion from knowledge: Intellectual property, efficiency and social justice. By Ramello, Giovanni B.
  2. Ideas and innovation in East Asia By Hu, Albert; Brahmbhatt, Milan
  3. Innovation, international R&D Spillovers and the sectoral heterogeneity of knowledge flows. By Franco Malerba; Maria Luisa Mancusi; Fabio Montobbio
  4. Innovation, R&D Spillovers and Productivity: The Role of Knowledge-Intensive Services By Agustí Segarra-Blasco
  5. Education and Training in a Model of Endogenous Growth with Creative Wear-and-Tear By Adriaan Van Zon; Roberto Antonietti
  6. ARE THE DYNAMICS OF KNOWLEDGE-BASED INDUSTRIES ANY DIFFERENT? By Ricardo Paes Mamede; Daniel Mota; Manuel Mira Godinho
  7. Regions Matter: How Regional Characteristics Affect External Knowledge Acquisition and Innovation By Keld Laursen; Francesca Masciarelli; Andrea Prencipe
  8. Flexible Approximation of Subjective Expectations Using Probability Questions: An Application to the Investment Game By Charles Bellemare; Luc Bissonnette; Sabine Kröger
  9. Demography and Innovative Entrepreneurship By Werner Bönte; Oliver Falck; Stephan Heblich
  10. Creating Strategic Advantage through Entrepreneurial Governance in New Ventures By David B. Audretsch; Erik E. Lehmann; Lawrence A. Plummer
  11. Beyond the Knowledge Production Function: The Role of R+D in a Multi-faceted Innovative Process By Alessandra Catozzella; Marco Vivarelli
  12. Investigating Collaborat ive R&D Using Patent Data: The Case Study of Robot Technology in Japan By Sebast ien Lechevalier; Yukio Ikeda; Junichi Nishimura

  1. By: Ramello, Giovanni B.
    Abstract: The main rationale for intellectual property relies on the thesis of the incentive to create. Creators and inventors are economic agents attracted by the returns they expect from their effort. This depiction is practical, but does not give due weight to the complexity of knowledge production. This work does not contest the potential benefit of the opportunity for creators and inventors to reap some profit from their work. Rather, it considers the idiosyncratic nature of knowledge, which is simultaneously input, output and productive technology, and is closely linked to the social dimension. This provides further insight into the production process and suggests a significantly different framework for policy. More specifically, because of the increasing returns governing creative technology, the efficiency criterion used to guide the economic choice calls for weak intellectual property rights, thus preserving wide access to knowledge. A stronger appropriation regime would significantly impair the total outcome of the creative processes. Interestingly, this appears to apply equally from a social justice perspective, perhaps in an effortless solution to the age-old trade-off between economic efficiency and social justice.
    Keywords: intellectual property rights, knowledge production, increasing returns, knowledge sharing, productivity, social justice
    JEL: C2 D2 D61 O31 O38 D78
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Hu, Albert; Brahmbhatt, Milan
    Abstract: The generation, diffusion, absorption and application of new technology, knowledge or ideas are crucial drivers of development. This paper surveys the diverse approaches to innovation adopted by East Asian economies, the problems faced and outcomes achieved, as well as possible policy lessons. Knowledge flows from advanced countries remain the primary source of new ideas in developing economies. The authors evaluate the role of three main channels for knowledge flows to East Asia - international trade, acquisition of disembodied knowledge and foreign direct investment. The paper then looks at the exceptionally fast growth in domestic innovation efforts in Korea, Taiwan (China), Singapore and China, drawing on information about R & D as well as original analysis of patent and patent citation data. Citation analysis shows that while East Asian innovations continue to draw heavily on knowledge flows from the US and Japan, citations to the same or to other East Asian economies are quickly rising, indicating the emergence of national and regional knowledge stocks as a foundation for innovation. A last section pulls together findings about policies and institutions to foster innovation, under three heads: the overall business environment for innovation (macroeconomic stability, financial development, openness, competition, intellectual property rights and the quality of communications infrastructure), human capital development, and government fiscal support for innovation.
    Keywords: E-Business,Knowledge Economy,Economic Theory & Research,Technology Industry,Agricultural Knowledge & Information Systems
    Date: 2007–11–01
  3. By: Franco Malerba (Department of Economics and CESPRI, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy..); Maria Luisa Mancusi (Department of Economics and CESPRI, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.); Fabio Montobbio (Department of Economics, Insubria University, Varese and CESPRI, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relative effects of national and international, intra-sectoral and intersectoral spillovers on innovative activity in six large, industrialized countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and US) over the period 1981-1995. We use patent applications at the European Patent Office to measure innovation and their citations to trace knowledge flows within and across 135 narrowly defined technological fields. We find that, in addition to international ones, intra-sectoral spillovers are an important determinant of innovation.
    Keywords: R&D spillovers, Knowledge flows, Patent citations.
    JEL: F0 O3 R1
    Date: 2007–10
  4. By: Agustí Segarra-Blasco (Grup de Recerca en Indústria i Territori(GRIT), Departament d'Economia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili.)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the performance of companies’ R&D and innovation and the effects of intra- and inter-industry R&D spillover on firms’ productivity in Catalonia. The paper deals simultaneously with the performance of manufacturing and service firms, with the aim of highlighting the growing role of knowledge-intensive services in promoting innovation and productivity gains. We find that intra-industry R&D spillovers have an important effect on the productivity level of manufacturing firms, and the inter-industrial R&D spillovers related to computer and software services also play an important role, especially in high-tech manufacturing industries. The main conclusion is that the traditional classification of manufactured goods and services no longer makes sense in the ‘knowledge economy’ and in Catalonia the regional policy makers will have to design policies that favour inter-industrial R&D flows, especially from high-tech services.
    Keywords: Innovation, R&D spillovers, KIS services, Productivity
    JEL: L10
    Date: 2007–11
  5. By: Adriaan Van Zon (Maastricht University); Roberto Antonietti (Università di Padova)
    Abstract: How does the rate at which firms adopt new technologies affect the level of education and training of a country’s workforce? If technological change makes knowledge obsolete and tends to foster general rather than firm-specific skills, what would be the optimum level of education spending in front of a faster arrival of new technologies? This paper tries to answer these questions by developing an endogenous growth model with creative ’wear and tear’ in which general education enhances innovation through R&D and lowers adjustment costs to new technologies, while on-the-job training is necessary for firms to realise their profit potentials by implementing the new technologies and reap all the related future quasi-rents. The paper reproduces some stylized facts on the technology-training relationship and shows how the optimum amount of time devoted to education and job training is affected by the rate of technical change itself. In particular, we find that a faster arrival of innovations shifts the private knowledge portfolio towards general human capital. We also find that households tend to under invest in education, thus leading to lower growth rates than technically feasible, and higher training costs than absolutely necessary. This suggests that there is room for education policy reducing private education fees.
    Keywords: education, on-the-job training, R&D, schooling, technology, wear-and-tear
    JEL: I22 J24 O31 O33
    Date: 2007–11
  6. By: Ricardo Paes Mamede (GEE, Ministério da Economia e da Inovação; Faculdade de Economia, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa - ISCTE); Daniel Mota (Instituto Nacional de Estatística); Manuel Mira Godinho (Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa)
    Abstract: The concept of «knowledge-based industries» (KBIs) has been widely used both in the academy and in policy-making over the last decade, due to the increasing role those industries play – both in terms of value added and employment – in contemporary, advanced economies. In this paper we discuss the extent to which KBIs differ from other industries in what concerns some of the stylised facts and regularities of industry dynamics usually found in the literature. In particular, we analyse the patterns and the determinants of firm entry and post-entry performance (measured in terms of survival of new firms), comparing KBIs groups with the remaining industries, using data for the Portuguese economy in the second half of the 1990s. We find that KBIs and the firms within them show some signs of distinctiveness in their dynamics as compared to the general case. In particular, on average, KBIs firms have higher survival chances, and entry within the KBIs groups is less responsive to incentives.
    Keywords: knowledge-based industries; market entry; firm survival
    JEL: L29
    Date: 2007–11
  7. By: Keld Laursen; Francesca Masciarelli; Andrea Prencipe
    Abstract: To introduce new products and processes, firms often acquire knowledge from other organizations. Drawing on social capital and transaction cost theory, we argue that not only is the impact of such acquisitions on the successful development of product and product innovations dependent on strategic and economic variables, it may also be contingent on the “knowledge characteristics” of the geographical area in which the firm is located. Combining data on social capital at the level of 21 regions with a large scale data set on innovative activities by a representative sample of 2464 Italian manufacturing firms, we find — after controlling for a large set of firm and regional characteristics — that being located in regions characterized by high levels of social interaction leads to a higher propensity to innovate. In addition, being located in an area characterized by a high degree of social interaction positively moderates the effectiveness of externally acquired R&D on innovation inclination.
    Keywords: Social capital; external acquisition; process innovation; product innovation
    JEL: L23 O31
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Charles Bellemare (Université Laval, CIRPÉE and IZA); Luc Bissonnette (Tilburg University); Sabine Kröger (Université Laval)
    Abstract: We use spline interpolation to approximate the subjective cumulative distribution function of an economic agent over the future realization of a continuous (possibly censored) random variable. The method proposed exploits information collected using a small number of probability questions on expectations and requires a weak prior knowledge of the shape of the underlying distribution. We find that eliciting 4 or 5 points on the cumulative distribution function of an agent is sufficient to accurately approximate a wide variety of underlying distributions. We show that estimated moments of general functions of the random variable can be computed analytically and/or using standard simulation techniques. We illustrate the usefulness of the method by estimating a simple model to asses the impact of expectations on investment decisions in a commonly used trust game.
    Keywords: approximation of subjective expectations, spline interpolation, decision making under uncertainty
    JEL: C81 C10 D39
    Date: 2007–10
  9. By: Werner Bönte (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Public Policy Group); Oliver Falck (Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifo); Stephan Heblich (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Public Policy Group)
    Abstract: Demographic change will be one of the major challenges for economic policy in the developed world in the next decades. In this article, we analyze the relationship between age structure and the number of startups. We argue that an individual's decision to start a business is determined by his or her age and, therefore, that a change in a region's age distribution affects the expected number of startups in the region. Using German regional data, we estimate a count-data model and find that the expected number of startups is positively influenced by the fraction of individuals of working age? 20-64 years old. A more detailed analysis of the working-age distribution suggests that startups in knowledge-based (high-tech) manufacturing industries are affected by changes in this distribution whereas firms in other industries are not. In particular, increases in the fraction of individuals in the 20-30 age range and individuals in the 40-50 age range have a positive effect on the number of high-tech startups.
    Keywords: Demography, Age Distribution, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Region
    JEL: J1 L26 O3 R11
    Date: 2007–11–12
  10. By: David B. Audretsch (Max Planck Institute of Economics and Indiana University); Erik E. Lehmann (University of Augsburg and Max Planck Institute of Economics); Lawrence A. Plummer (Clemson University and Max Planck Institute of Economics)
    Abstract: An important literature has made a fundamental link between corporate governance and corporate strategy. According to agency theory, assigning managers stock options aligns their interests with the interests of the owners of the firm. This paper suggests that this may not apply in the context of new ventures. Instead, an alternative perspective offered in this paper suggests that if contracts are incomplete, then managerial stock ownership not only provides a mechanism to align managerial incentives with the owners' goals, as agency theory predicts, it also grants top managers residual control rights to be used in subsequent negotiations with the owners. The ability to exercise residual control rights improves the ex post bargaining position of the CEO as an asset owner, thereby increasing her incentive to make relationship-specific investments that are specific to the new venture. Thus, in the context of new venture strategy assigning asset ownership to those who have the most important relationship-specific resources or who have indispensable human capital is a crucial source of subsequent competitive advantage. This theory of entrepreneurial governance is tested using patent ownership as a proxy for both relationship-specific investments and indispensable human capital of the CEO of the new venture. The empirical results support the main hypothesis posited by the entrepreneurial governance model.
    Keywords: managerial equity ownership, new ventures, property rights, governance, knowledge, innovation
    JEL: M13 L R30
    Date: 2007–11–12
  11. By: Alessandra Catozzella (Universita degli Studi di Pavia); Marco Vivarelli (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena; Institute for Prospective Technological Studies-European Commission, Seville; Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan; and Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA), Bonn)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to test the possible catalysing role of in-house R+D in fostering the complementarity of innovative inputs on a sample of 3045 manufacturing firms drawn from the third Italian Community Innovation Survey (1998-2000). The interactions between four different sources of innovation - internal and external R+D, embodied and disembodied technological acquisitions - have been simultaneously explored through the two (direct and indirect) testing frameworks for complementarity. Results from both the approaches show that the innovative process is a phenomenon combining within itself both complementarity and substitutability relationships, depending both on the typology of the targeted innovation output and on the particular combination of innovative inputs we focus on. In particular, it is in-house R+D that seems to create the precondition allowing firms to enjoy complementarity effects. Indeed, the possibility of exploiting synergies between different innovative inputs turns out to be subordinated to having undertaken a minimum amount of internal R+D. The implication of this result is that a role for in-house R+D emerges, beyond its direct effect in generating an innovative output: even if internal research is not a necessary precondition for a firm to be innovative, it should still be carried out because of its important role in the generation of synergies that amplify the impacts of the other innovative inputs it interacts with.
    Keywords: R+D, innovation, complementarity, supermodularity, substitutability
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2007–11–12
  12. By: Sebast ien Lechevalier; Yukio Ikeda; Junichi Nishimura
    Abstract: The growing trend of collaborative R&D has been well documented recently, both at a global level and through national and industry case studies. However, there is not yet any consensus regarding the following decisive questions: what are the exact level and evolution of R&D collaboration? What are the benefits of collaboration? What are the motives and determinants of firms engaging in R&D collaboration? In our opinion, these questions have not yet been answered due to the limitations of the data used in most empirical studies (large questionnaire surveys or very specific case studies). The main novelty of this paper is the use of patent data with a focus on information concerning inventors. These data are less biased than questionnaire surveys in terms of the size of the institutions; they are objective and are particularly appropriate for analyzing the benefits of collaboration. As the identification of the institutions to which individual inventors are affiliated is a particularly time consuming task, we focus on robot technology in Japan since the beginning of the 1990s. Our results are as follows. First, although the level of R&D collaboration in RT in Japan increased between 1991 and 2004, especially in the case of collaboration between firms and universities, it still remains low and is dominated by inter-firm collaborations. Second, we cannot definitively reject the conclusion that only the scale of the research has an impact on the quality of patents, when the unit of analysis is the patent; however, we show that there are significant spillover effects of collaboration, which imply an indirect effect on quality. Third, the determinants and motives which encourage firms to decide to engage in collaborative research differ depending on the partner they are collaborating with. In the case of collaboration with other firms, IO theories hold, as the existence of spillovers acts as an incentive. Regarding the collaboration with universities and public research institutes, the validity of capability theory, which emphasizes the quest for complementary knowledge and capability, is confirmed by our empirical investigation.
    Keywords: collaborative R&D, robot technology, patent data
    JEL: O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2007–09

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