nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2008‒03‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Knowledge Spillovers, Competition, and R&D Incentive Contracts By N. Lacetera; L. Zirulia
  2. The economics of knowledge interaction and the changing role of universities By Antonelli Cristiano; Pierpaolo Patrucco; Rossi Federica
  3. Technology Flows between Sectors and its Impact on Large-Scale Firms By Jürgen Antony; Thomas Grebel
  4. Embedding Research in Society: Development Assistance Options for Supporting Agricultural Innovation in a Global Knowledge Economy By Hall, Andy
  5. Drivers of national innovative systems in transition: an Eastern European cross-country analysis By Krammer, Marius /S.S.
  6. Evaluation in the practice of development By Ravallion, Martin
  7. Measuring Intersectoral Knowledge Spillovers: an Application of Sensitivity Analysis to Italy By Cerulli Giovanni; Potì Bianca
  8. Pharmaceutical research in Wilhelmine Germany: The case of E. Merck By Carsten Burhop
  9. R&D and Productivity: Testing Sectoral Peculiarities Using Micro Data By Potters, Lesley; Ortega-Argilés, Raquel; Vivarelli, Marco
  10. Performance Spillovers and Social Network in the Workplace: Evidence from Rural and Urban Weavers in a Chinese Textile Firm By Kato, Takao; Shu, Pian
  11. Trials, Tricks and Transparency: How Disclosure Rules Affect Clinical Knowledge By Matthias Dahm; Paula González; Nicolás Porteiro
  12. China’s New Development Strategy: Environment and Energy Security By Khan, Haider

  1. By: N. Lacetera; L. Zirulia
    Date: 2008–01
  2. By: Antonelli Cristiano (University of Turin); Pierpaolo Patrucco (University of Turin); Rossi Federica
    Date: 2008–02
  3. By: Jürgen Antony (Economics Department, University of Augsburg); Thomas Grebel (Economics Department, University of Jena)
    Abstract: In this paper we highlight the importance of technology flows between sectors and their impact on the labor productivity of large-scale corporations. Based on theoretical considerations, we explore technological spillovers between the sectors of an economy. Large-scale corporations usually focus on certain sectors but make use of a wide range of technological knowledge from other sectors. Thereby, technological knowledge built up in sectors by continuous R+D activities does not spill over without bounds but is directed by ?rms' absorptive capacities. We use ?rms' patent portfolio to empirically calculate the sector affiliation and therewith the ?rms' absorptive capacities in order to estimate the impact of technology diffusion on labor productivity. Fortune 500 ?rms serve as data base.
    Keywords: Technology Flows, Spillovers, Firm Productivity
    JEL: O33 O14
    Date: 2008–03–07
  4. By: Hall, Andy (UNU-MERIT, LINK)
    Abstract: The emergence of a globalised knowledge economy, and the contemporary views of innovation capacity that this trend enables and informs, provides a new context in which development assistance to agricultural research and development needs to be considered. The main argument in this paper, which focuses on The Netherlands, is that development assistance should use this emerging scenario to identify niches where inputs can add value to the R&D investments of others, particularly in activities that help wire up innovation systems, linking R&D to other activities and actors in society. The paper outlines four agricultural innovation priorities and guiding principles for development assistance that could help strengthen national and global innovation capacity. These trends also raise many tensions and dilemmas for the development research community in Northern countries. A key message of this paper is that these tensions could be better handled if a long-term vision for development assistance to ST&I - which recognised the contingencies of the global knowledge economy and the importance of participation in the resolution of international issues that affect all countries - were in place. The paper concludes by suggesting that national development assistance policies on ST&I cannot be thought of separately from a country's general ST&I policy as participation in the resolution of international issues is a key element of a country's comparative advantage. This requires investments in expertise in the North and not just financial assistance to the South.
    Keywords: knowledge economy, development assistance, agricultural research, agricultural innovation, science and technology policy, innovation policy, development research, international development, community, globalization
    JEL: O13 O19 O29 O38 Q18
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Krammer, Marius /S.S.
    Abstract: Innovation plays a crucial role in determining today’s economic growth patterns. But what enables some countries to innovate more than others? This paper employs in premiere a panel of sixteen Eastern European countries throughout their transition period exploring empirically the drivers of their innovative capacity using as a proxy the number of patent granted in the USA. The econometric analysis confirms the importance of R&D commitments and innovative tradition in the form of existing knowledge stock. Increased trade openness and intellectual rights protection determine higher international patenting, while the transition specific factors, such as structural industrial distortions or aggregated output drops, have a significant negative influence. Governmental funding and research performance of universities encourage more innovation at the technological frontier, while the business R&D funding in Eastern Europe is negatively correlated with it.
    Keywords: National innovative systems; Transitional Economies; Patents; Eastern Europe;
    JEL: P2 O57 O3
    Date: 2008–03–07
  6. By: Ravallion, Martin
    Abstract: Knowledge about development effectiveness is constrained by two factors. First, the project staff in governments and international agencies who decide how much to invest in research on specific interventions are often not well informed about the returns to rigorous evaluation and (even when they are) cannot be expected to take full account of the external benefits to others from new knowledge. This leads to under-investment in evaluative research. Second, while standard methods of impact evaluation are useful, they often leave many questions about development effectiveness unanswere d. The paper proposes ten steps for making evaluations more relevant to the needs of practitioners. It is argued that more attention needs to be given to identifying policy-relevant questions (including the case for intervention); that a broader approach should be taken to the problems of internal validity; and that the problems of external validity (including scaling up) merit more attention.
    Keywords: Poverty Monitoring & Analysis,Science Education,Scientific Research & Science Parks,Population Policies,Tertiary Education
    Date: 2008–03–01
  7. By: Cerulli Giovanni (Ceris - Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth, Rome, Italy); Potì Bianca (Ceris - Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: R&D spillovers are unanimously considered as one of the main driving forces of technical change, innovation and economic growth. This paper aims at measuring inter-industrial R&D spillovers, as a useful information for policy-makers. We apply an “uncertainty-sensitivity analysis” to the Italian input-output table of intermediate goods split into 31 economic sectors for the year 2000. The value added of using this methodology is the opportunity of distinguishing (separately) between spillover effects induced by productive linkages (the Leontiev forward multipliers) and those activated by R&D investments, capturing also the uncertain and non-linear nature of the relations between spillovers and factors affecting them.
    Keywords: R&D spillovers, Input-output models, Sensitivity analysis, Monte Carlo simulations
    JEL: O32 C67 C15
    Date: 2007–12
  8. By: Carsten Burhop (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper, we describe the emergence and evolution of pharmaceutical research at the German company E. Merck during the late 19th and early 20th century. Revolutionary changes in the scientific knowledge base, especially the rise of bacteriological research, and the market entry of dyestuff producers into pharmaceuticals made the re-organisation of pharmaceutical research during the 1890s a necessary corporate strategy. Consequently, Merck restructured its in-house research between 1895 and 1898. Moreover, the firm deepened its co-operation with universities and other outside inventors. Jointly and severally, the firm depended on outside inventors for the generation of new products, whereas in-house scientists improved the productive efficiency. Moreover, we show that a significant number of new products were launched between the late 1890s and 1905. During the following years, however, resource constraints restricted Merck’s innovative capacity.
    Keywords: Business history, pharmaceutical research, case study
    JEL: N83 O32
    Date: 2008–01
  9. By: Potters, Lesley (Utrecht School of Economics); Ortega-Argilés, Raquel (European Commission); Vivarelli, Marco (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between a firm's R&D activities and its productivity using a unique micro data panel dataset and looking at sectoral peculiarities which may emerge; more specifically, we used an unbalanced longitudinal database consisting of 532 top European R&D investors over the six-year period 2000-2005. Our main findings can be summarised along the following lines: knowledge stock has a significant positive impact on a firm's productivity, with an overall elasticity of about 0.125; this general result is largely consistent with previous literature in terms of the sign, the significance and the estimated magnitude of the relevant coefficient. More interestingly, the coefficient increases monotonically when we move from the low-tech to the medium-high and high-tech sectors, ranging from a minimum of 0.05/0.07 to a maximum of 0.16/0.18. This outcome, in contrast with recently-renewed acceptance of low-tech sectors as a preferred target of R&D investment, suggests that firms in high-tech sectors are still far ahead in terms of the impact on productivity of their R&D investments, at least as regards top European R&D investors.
    Keywords: panel data, R&D, productivity, knowledge stock, perpetual inventory method
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2008–02
  10. By: Kato, Takao (Colgate University); Shu, Pian (MIT)
    Abstract: We provide some of the first rigorous evidence on performance spillovers and social network in the workplace. The data we use are rather extraordinary – weekly data for rejection rates (proportion of defective output) for all weavers in a firm during a 12 months (April 2003-March 2004) period, more than 10,000 observations. Our fixed effect estimates first point to significant spillovers of performance from high-ability weavers to low-ability weavers. On the other hand, we find no evidence for performance spillovers from low-ability to high-ability weavers. The findings are consistent with the knowledge sharing hypothesis that low-ability workers learn from high-ability workers but not vice versa. Second, by exploiting the well-documented fact that an exogenously-formed sharp divide between urban workers and rural migrant workers exists in firms in Chinese cities, we find that performance spillovers/knowledge sharing take place only within the confines of social network. Specifically rural low-ability weavers are found to improve their performance as their high-ability teammates (who are also rural migrants) improve their performance while they do not benefit from performance improvement of their high-ability teammates who are urban residents. Such heterogeneous performance interdependence of workers within the same team suggests that our evidence for performance spillovers is less likely to be a result of team specific demand shocks that generate spurious performance interdependence of all team members.
    Keywords: knowledge sharing, performance spillovers, social network
    JEL: M5 J24 L2
    Date: 2008–02
  11. By: Matthias Dahm (Departamento de Economía, Universidat Rovira i Virgili); Paula González (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Nicolás Porteiro (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Scandals of selective reporting of clinical trial results by pharmaceutical firms have underlined the need for more transparency in clinical trials. We provide a theoretical framework which reproduces incentives for selective reporting and yields three key implications concerning regulation. First, a compulsory clinical trial registry complemented through a voluntary clinical trial results database can implement full transparency (the existence of all trials as well as their results is known). Second, full transparency comes at a price. It has a deterrence effect on the incentives to conduct clinical trials, as it reduces the firms' gains from trials. Third, in principle, a voluntary clinical trial results database without a compulsory registry is a superior regulatory tool; but we provide some qualified support for additional compulsory registries when medical decision-makers cannot anticipate correctly the drug companies' decisions whether to conduct trials.
    Keywords: pharmaceutical firms, strategic information transmission, clinical trials, registries, results databases, scientific knowledge.
    JEL: D72 I18 L15
    Date: 2008–02
  12. By: Khan, Haider
    Abstract: This paper analyzes China's development strategy by focusing on both global and regional approaches to solving problems of energy security and ecological imbalance by addressing specifically the problems of China’s energy security. PRC’s growing energy dependence has become a major concern for both economic and national security policymakers in that country. The ambitious goal of modernization of the economy along the lines of the other newly industrialized economies(NIEs) of Asia has succeeded only too well, and it is difficult to reorient economic priorities. If examined rigorously, such an economic strategic assumption can be seen to entail the goal of creating further technological capabilities. In particular, China seems to be firmly committed to the creation of a largely self-sustaining innovation system as part of a knowledge-based economy of the future . Such innovation systems, called positive feedback loop innovation systems or POLIS have been created by advanced countries, and NIEs such as South Korea and Taiwan are proceeding to create these as well. But this will add to its energy burden and further dependence on the US as the power which controls the key sea lanes. Only a strategic reorientation to building a self-sustaining POLIS and appropriate regional cooperation institutions can lead to the way out of the current dilemma for China. Fortunately, such a model of POLIS which is distributionally and ecologically sensitive can be built for China and applied strategically to lead towards a sustainable development trajectory. However, time is of the essence. Given the path dependence of development unless strategic disengagement from the existing path followed by a strategic engagement with the alternative strategy is begun within the next five years, it may well be too late. The stakes are indeed very high. A more detailed strategy paper based on the key ideas from the alternative strategy outlined here with concrete quantitative scenarios and feasibility studies along the lines of models sketched in the appendix ( and other, more detailed models) will go some distance towards giving the appropriate analytical foundations for the policy makers. The preliminary results confirm the predictions regarding fossil fuel-based energy shortage and lead towards a serious consideration of alternative energy sources. Achieving the twin goals of energy security and ecological balance are challenging but not impossible for China. Serious policy research can be used effectively if there is the political will to do so. The goal of regional cooperation is also achievable if patient negotiations in good faith can start in earnest. In particular, cooperation with other Asian economies, particularly Japan, Indonesia, Viet Nam and India will be crucial.This paper has sketched out the complexities of cooperation and conflict between China and Japan. Future work will address the problems of Regional cooperation for China in the East, South and South Asian context as well as in the context of Africa and Latin America.
    Keywords: China; Development Strategy; Energy; Environment; POLIS; Innovation System; Regional Cooperation
    JEL: Q32 D62 C68 O53 O13
    Date: 2008

This nep-knm issue is ©2008 by Emanuele Canegrati. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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