nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2008‒05‒24
fifteen papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. Knowledge hubs and knowledge clusters: Designing a knowledge architecture for development. By Evers, Hans-Dieter
  2. Representations of knowledge in monetary policy processes: a discursive perspective By Dana Gabor
  3. Cognitive Forward Induction and Coordination without Common Knowledge: An Experimental Study By Andreas Blume; Andreas Blume; Uri Gneezy
  4. Global Management and the Strategic Role of Brands By Teresa da Silva Lopes
  5. Firms in Scottish High Technology Clusters: software, life sciences, microelectronics, optoelectronics and digital media – preliminary evidence and analysis on firm size, growth and optimality By Gavin C. Reid; Vandana Ujjual
  6. Labour mobility, related variety and the performance of plants: A Swedish study By Ron Boschma; Rikard Eriksson; Urban Lindgren
  7. The Internationalisation of Production Activities of Italian Industrial Districts By Giuseppe Tattara
  8. Towards A knowledge-Based Economy - Europe and Central Asia - Internet Development and Governance By Larissa Kapitsa
  9. Strategic Manipulation of Empirical Tests By Alvaro Sandroni; Wojciech Olszewski
  10. The Behaviour of Corporate Actors. A Survey of the Empirical Literature By Christoph Engel
  11. Exploring Feasibility of Alternate Channels of Information Dissemination: Study of Rural Consumers Information Needs By Dass Rajanish
  12. Institutional Change and Academic Patenting: French Universities and the Innovation Act of the 1999. By Antonio Della Malva; Francesco Lissoni; Patrick Llerena
  13. The evolution of the productivity dispersion of firms - A reevaluation of its determinants in the case of Japan By ITO Keiko; Sebastien LECHEVALIER
  14. Perspectives on decision-making among the Romanian managers By Stefanescu, Razvan
  15. Credit constraints and the cyclicality of R&D investment: Evidence from France By Philippe Aghion; Philippe Askenazy; Nicolas Berman; Gilbert Cette; Laurent Eymard

  1. By: Evers, Hans-Dieter
    Abstract: With globalisation and knowledge-based production, firms may cooperate on a global scale, outsource parts of their administrative or productive units and negate location altogether. The extremely low transaction costs of data, information and knowledge seem to invalidate the theory of agglomeration and the spatial clustering of firms, going back to the classical work by Alfred Weber (1868-1958) and Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), who emphasized the microeconomic benefits of industrial collocation. This paper will argue against this view and show why the growth of knowledge societies will rather increase than decrease the relevance of location by creating knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs. A knowledge cluster is a local innovation system organized around universities, research institutions and firms which successfully drive innovations and create new industries. Knowledge hubs are localities with high internal and external networking and knowledge sharing capabilities. Both form a new knowledge architecture within an epistemic landscape of knowledge creation and dissemination, structured by knowledge gaps and areas of low knowledge intensity. The paper will focus on the internal dynamics of knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs and show why clustering takes place despite globalisation and the rapid growth of ICT. The basic argument that firms and their delivery chains attempt to reduce transport (transaction) costs by choosing the same location is still valid for most industrial economies, but knowledge hubs have different dynamics relating to externalities produced from knowledge sharing and research and development outputs. The paper draws on empirical data derived from ongoing research in the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University and in the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, supported by the German Aeronautics and Space Agency (DLR).
    Keywords: knowledge; knowledge and development; industrial agglomeration; knowledge hub; cluster; space
    JEL: D21 D23 D8
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Dana Gabor (SCEME, University of Stirling)
    Abstract: Exploring knowledge in monetary policy process stands to benefit by departing from conceptualizing knowledge as an objective depiction of reality, a neutral language of science underpinning technocratic policy-making. This paper proposes a postpositivist perspective, approaching knowledge production as a process of struggle over truth claims which structures policy action by establishing boundaries for policy choices. To contextualize the mechanisms of knowledge generation, it explores the adoption by the National Bank of Romania of a new policy framework, Inflation Targeting, in August 2005. This allows a mapping of the knowledge agenda, the knowing subjects allowed to participate in policy talk and avenues for contesting truth claims.
    Keywords: discourse analysis, MPC, monetary policy
    JEL: B41 Z1
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Andreas Blume; Andreas Blume; Uri Gneezy
    Abstract: . . .
    Date: 2008–05
  4. By: Teresa da Silva Lopes
    Abstract: This study analyses the strategic role of brands, in explaining the management of business in the global alcoholic beverages industry and also the techniques used by firms to exploit economies of scale and scope in the international marketplace. It explains the different ways in which brands have been traded, what were the strategies of enterprises behind the creation of global brands, and how their operations have been affected by this increased importance of brands in firms’ everyday lives. It argues that the increase in the trade of brands has been led by the need for brands to be managed by entrepreneurs and firms with different levels and kinds of knowledge, and that this knowledge is greatly determined by the stages in the lives of brands, and the types of markets in which the brand is sold.
    Date: 2008–05
  5. By: Gavin C. Reid; Vandana Ujjual
    Abstract: This paper reports on new primary source evidence and analysis on high technology clusters in Scotland. It focuses on the following sectors: software, life sciences, microelectronics, optoelectronics, and digital media. Evidence on a postal and e-mailed questionnaire is presented and discussed under the headings of: performance, resources, collaboration & cooperation, embeddedness, and innovation. The sampled firms are characterised as being small (viz. micro-firms and SMEs), knowledge intensive (all graduate staff), research intensive (average spend on R&D three times turnover), and internationalised (mainly selling to markets beyond Europe). Preliminary statistical evidence is presented on Gibrat’s Law (independence of growth and size) and the Schumpeterian Hypothesis (scale economies in R&D). Estimates suggest a short-run equilibrium size of just 100 employees, but a long-run equilibrium size of 1000 employees. Further, to achieve the Schumpeterian effect (of marked scale economies in R&D), estimates suggest that firms have to grow to very much larger sizes of beyond 3,000 employees. We argue that the principal way of achieving the latter scale may need to be by takeovers and mergers, rather than by internally driven growth
    Keywords: High technology, Scottish firms, Gibrat’s Law, the Schumpeterian Hypothesis.
    JEL: O18 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2008–05
  6. By: Ron Boschma; Rikard Eriksson; Urban Lindgren
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of skill portfolios and labour mobility on plant performance by means of a unique database that connects attributes of individuals to features of plants for the whole Swedish economy. We found that a portfolio of related competences at the plant level increases significantly productivity growth of plants, in contrast to plant portfolios consisting of either similar or unrelated competences. Based on the analysis of 101,093 job moves, we found that inflows of skills that are related to the existing knowledge base of the plant had a positive effect on plant performance, while the inflow of new employees with skills that are already present in the plant had a negative impact. Our analyses show that inflows of unrelated skills only contribute positively to plant performance when these are recruited in the same region. Labour mobility across regions only has a positive effect on productivity growth of plants when this concerns new employees with related skills.
    Keywords: labour mobility, related variety, skill portfolio, plant performance, geographical proximity
    JEL: R11 R12 O18
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Giuseppe Tattara (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of the Italia industrial districts in the era of globalization. Italian districts are no longer self-contained systems of small firms where firms' competitiveness is the result of physical proximity, connected to foreign markets at the initial and the final stage of the production and distribution activity. Internationalization is analysed in the three classical forms of trade flows, foreign direct investments and foreign subcontracting. The conclusion discusses the consequences of sourcing production abroad for industrial districts. The loss of productive competences and practical knowledge, the reduction of employment and the change in the social climate that characterize the district. As a result of internationalization the final firms make profits in far away territories and the firm’s profitability is no more linked to the workers well being
    Keywords: Globalization, Industrial districts, Sub-contractiong, Direct Foreign Investments
    JEL: F23 L16 L25 L33
  8. By: Larissa Kapitsa (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: The diversity and socio-economic differentiation of the real world prevents the full-scale cultivation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to the benefit of all. Furthermore, the lack of determination and political will in some countries and slowness of responses to new technological opportunities in some others are responsible for the creation of another social divide – a digital one. The above problems were fully acknowledged by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Summit called for a joint international effort to overcome the digital divide between and within the United Nations Member States under the Digital Solidarity umbrella. This report was prepared as a follow-up to the Summit and represents a brief review of the status and trends in the area of ICT and Internet development in the UNECE region and provides background information on the state of the art in some relevant ICT subsectors in the Member States. The report focuses on the state of the Internet critical resources and, consequently, on the ICT and Internet penetration across countries and social groups. It also looks into existing Internet governance arrangements and makes some recommendations. The report contains three parts and conclusions. The first part, “Towards a Knowledge-based Economy: Progress Assessment”, highlights the situation in the region with regards to the digital divide, both between and within countries, and national strategies and actions aiming at overcoming barriers to accessing the Internet. The second part, “Internet Development: Current State of Critical Internet Resources in the UNECE Region”, concentrates on reviewing the physical Internet backbone, interconnection and connectivity within the Internet in the UNECE Member States. The third part, “Governing the Evolving Internet in the UNECE Region”, focuses on the issues of Internet Governance in the countries of the region, challenges faced by the countries and participation of key stakeholders in ICT and Internet policy formulation and implementation. The final part contains conclusions and recommendations.
    Keywords: Internet, governance, knowledge-based economy, Europe, Central Asia, transition economies
    JEL: D02 H19 L96 L98 O38
    Date: 2008–04
  9. By: Alvaro Sandroni (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Wojciech Olszewski (Department of Economics, Northwestern University)
    Abstract: Theories can be produced by experts seeking a reputation for having knowledge. Hence, a tester could anticipate that theories may have been strategically produced by uninformed experts who want to pass an empirical test. We show that, with no restriction on the domain of permissible theories, strategic experts cannot be discredited for an arbitrary but given number of periods, no matter which test is used (provided that the test does not reject the actual data-generating process). Natural ways around this impossibility result include 1) assuming that unbounded data sets are available and 2) restricting the domain of permissible theories (opening the possibility that the actual data-generating process is rejected out of hand). In both cases, it is possible to dismiss strategic experts, but only to a limited extent. These results show significant limits on what data can accomplish when experts produce theories strategically.
    Keywords: Testing Strategic Experts
    JEL: D81 C11
    Date: 2008–04–01
  10. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Much of behavioural research, both in economics and in psychology, is limited in one respect: it tests isolated individuals. In many practically relevant situations, there are discernible actors, but these actors are not individuals. Rather firms, regulatory bodies, associations, countries or international organisations become active. The social problem at hand is best understood if one attributes judgement and decision making to higher level aggregates of individuals. Which elements from the rich body of behavioural evidence transfer to these corporate actors? Are there other deviations from the predictions of the rational choice model, not present or studied in individuals? This paper surveys the empirical literature from experimental economics, psychology, sociology and law. While some building blocks, like the behaviour of managers and of ad hoc groups, are relatively well understood, our knowledge about the effects of more elaborate internal structure on the dealings of corporate actors with the outer world is still relatively limited.
    Keywords: Behaviour, Firms, Organizations, Associations, Groups
    JEL: C92 D21 D23 K22 L20
    Date: 2008–05
  11. By: Dass Rajanish
    Abstract: Information plays a vital role in lives of individuals/groups for development and growth. Just information does not serve the purpose, but accurate information does. The sources/tools/techniques used to get the desired information have evolved from the foremost person-to-person interaction to the latest search engines on the World Wide Web. Thus options to obtain information have widened. Search engines have enabled to get information from any corner of the world to person’s desktop within fraction of seconds. In this paper, we try to study the information needs of rural population in India. This research tries to understand types of information required and frequency of search for information among the rural population. The study attempts to understand whether, demand exists for ‘information on demand’ or search engine service itself would unlock a new untapped demand. The socio-economic aspect, livelihoods of rural population and the available resources for information retrieval have been studied to enable, if search engine service could be made available to them and in what form. Whether this proposition of search engine services being made available to those who are unable to access or rural population would be a win-win scenario for the users as well as for the search engine service providers (considering the limiting factors). The paper ends, with possible alternatives to make search engine services available to those unable to access and at the same time can be attractive to the search engine service providers.
    Date: 2008–05–19
  12. By: Antonio Della Malva; Francesco Lissoni; Patrick Llerena
    Abstract: Recent empirical work in the field of university-industry technology transfer has stressed the importance of IPR-related reforms and university patenting has major forces behind the success of US high-tech industry. European policy-makers have been tempted to explain the poorer technological performance of their countries with the lower propensity of their academic institutions to get engaged in patenting and commercializing their research results. As a consequence, a number of measures have been taken to promote academic awareness of IPRs, as part of more comprehensive policies in favour of academic commercialization and entrepreneurship. This paper explores university patenting, and the related policies, in France. We provide evidence that university patenting in that countries has been underestimated by policy-makers’ perceptions: French academic scientists are in fact responsible for no less than 3% of patents by French inventors at the European Patent Office. However, only 10% of academic-invented patents are owned by domestic universities, with the remainder assigned both to firms and to Public Research Organizations (PROs). We then explore the impact of the Innovation Act, passed in France in 1999. We find that the Act has significantly increased the likelihood an academic patent to be assigned to a university rather than to a business company. We also find, that the opening of a technology transfer office in a university appears to have a stronger and more significant impact than the Act on the decision of universities to retain IPRs over their scientists’ discoveries.
    JEL: L31 O31 O34
    Date: 2008
  13. By: ITO Keiko; Sebastien LECHEVALIER
    Abstract: There is a growing body of literature analyzing empirically the evolution of productivity dispersion at the firm level and its determinants. This paper contributes to this literature by investigating the case of Japanese firms during the so-called gLost Decadeh (1992-2005), which is still under-analyzed. We use a firm-level panel dataset taken from a large-scale administrative survey, the Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities (BSBSA) for the years 1994-2003. Our results can be summarized as follows. First, we confirm that there was an overall increase in both labor productivity and total factor productivity dispersion, especially in the manufacturing sector from 1998 onward. Second, in the case of Japanese firms during the Lost Decade, and contrary to what has been found for some other countries, we find no significant impact of the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) on productivity dispersion. On the other hand, we do find evidence of a significant and positive impact of internationalization on productivity dispersion. In addition, the evolution of the competitive environment appears to play a role: we find that the increase in the Hershman-Herfindahl index observed in some sectors, which characterizes a more oligopolistic environment, is associated with an increase in productivity dispersion.
    Date: 2008–05
  14. By: Stefanescu, Razvan
    Abstract: This paper examines, in the tradition of descriptive approaches of decision-making, how Romanian executives actually make decisions. It is based on an investigation in which managers from Romania were interrogated about some aspects of the decision-making. The conclusion of this study is that the Romanian managers don’t follow all the recommendations of classical decision theory when they make decisions. That situation is caused not only by the high instability of business environment, but also by some elements of the managerial culture.
    Keywords: descriptive approaches of decision-making; business environment; investigation among executives; transition countries;
    JEL: D21 D81 M10
    Date: 2004–12–20
  15. By: Philippe Aghion; Philippe Askenazy; Nicolas Berman; Gilbert Cette; Laurent Eymard
    Abstract: We use a French firm-level data set containing 13,000 firms over the period 1993-2004 to analyze the relationship between credit constraints and firms' R&D behavior over the business cycle. Our main results can be summarized as follows: (i) the share of R&D investment over total investment is countercyclical without credit constraints, but it becomes less countercyclical as firms face tighter credit constraints; (ii) this result is magnified for firms in sectors that depend more heavily upon external finance, or that are characterized by a low degree of asset tangibility; (iii) in more credit constrained firms, R&D investment share plummets during recessions but does not increase proportionally during upturns; (iv) average R&D investment and productivity growth are more negatively correlated with sales volatility in more credit constrained firms.
    Date: 2008

This nep-knm issue is ©2008 by Laura Stefanescu. 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.