nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2020‒08‒24
six papers chosen by
Laura Ştefănescu
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. Building Knowledge Economies in Africa: An Introduction By Simplice A. Asongu; John Kuada
  2. Stra.Tech.Man Innovation, Hrm and Perception of Educational Needs in Underdeveloped Business Ecosystems: The Case of Retail Sector Firms in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace By Vlados, Charis; Chatzinikolaou, Dimos
  3. Foreign Direct Investment and Knowledge Diffusion in Poor Locations By Abebe, Girum; McMillan, Margaret; Serafinelli, Michel
  4. Global race for robotisation - Looking at the entire robotisation chain By Zoltan Csefalvay; Petros Gkotsis
  5. GPTs and Growth: Evidence on the Technological Adoption of Electrical & Electronic Technologies in the 1920s By Sergio Petralia; ;
  6. Can Training Enhance Adoption, Knowledge and Perception of Organic Farming Practices? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Indonesia By Grimm, Michael; Luck, Nathalie

  1. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); John Kuada (Aalborg University, Denmark)
    Abstract: Knowledge has emerged as a fundamental driver of economic growth and development by inter alia improving the effectiveness and efficiency of economic projects and boosting the process of finding new avenues of addressing developmental policy syndromes. Recent evidence suggests that Africa is on the threshold of significant and sustainable economic growth if its human and material resources can be effectively mobilised to support the process (Kuada & Mensah, 2017; Asongu & Tchamyou, 2019). Consequently, the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Framework aims to explore and support the extent to which current policies in African countries affect the knowledge development process (and thereby competitiveness) on the continent. A knowledge economy is an economy in which economic prosperity largely depends on the accessibility, quality and quantity of information available, instead of the means of production (Asongu, 2017a, 2017b). This themed issue of Contemporary Social Science-‘Building Knowledge Economies in Africa’ - consists of papers that focus on, but are not limited to, the four dimensions of the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index. These are: information and communication technology, education, economic incentives and institutional regime, and innovation (Tchamyou, 2017). The themed issue engages with high quality contributions which, taken together, address the drivers towards knowledge-based economies. This introduction provides a context for understanding the importance of building knowledge economies in Africa and summarises the main contributions to the themed issue. The paper ends by advising scholars and policy makers regarding the risks associated with a colonial view of knowledge- notably the importance of proposing knowledge-based policies while avoiding hegemonic paradigms and hierarchical constructs. In summary, the issue consists of a set of theoretically informed, empirically robust, policy-relevant and accessible articles for both specialists and non-specialists.
    Keywords: Knowledge economy; Development; Africa
    JEL: O10 O30 O38 O55 O57
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Vlados, Charis (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics); Chatzinikolaou, Dimos (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Innovation becomes widely perceived as the most significant ingredient of socioeconomic development, for all types of organizations, at all spatial levels. This study aims to examine how a specific category of business people understand the phenomenon of innovation in relation to the dimensions of Human Resource Management (HRM) and intra- and external business education and training. It explores in particular how the firms of a less developed regional business ecosystem perceive this triangle of innovation-education-human resources, what is their current image and how this comprehension evolves over the last years. Through field research in firms located in the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, we highlight these qualitative correlations between innovation, workforce management, training, and education. Our findings suggest that the “image” of these entrepreneurs to these issues lacks interpretive depth and practical cohesion, which is related to pathogenies caused and causing the overall relative socioeconomic underdevelopment in the region. The originality of this research derives from the presentation and analysis of specific firms’ and professionals’ perceptions of innovation, which are relatively far from the standards set by the corresponding modern scientific literature and practice.
    Keywords: Innovation; Stra.Tech.Man approach; education; Human Resource Management; training; less developed regional ecosystem; Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
    JEL: M53 O15 R11 R58
    Date: 2020–06–02
  3. By: Abebe, Girum (Policy Studies Institute); McMillan, Margaret (Tufts University); Serafinelli, Michel (University of Essex)
    Abstract: We use a plant level survey to identify interactions between domestic plants and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ethiopia's manufacturing sector. One third of Ethiopian plants are linked to FDI through labor sharing, supply chains and competition. Technology upgrading most commonly occurs as a result of competition in output markets and observation and imitation of FDI in the same line of business. Other benefits include enhanced managerial practices and knowledge about exporting. Spillovers from FDI are identified by comparing changes in total factor productivity (TFP) among domestic plants in districts where a large greenfield foreign plant produces and districts where FDI in the same industry and around the same time was licensed but not yet operational. Over the four years starting with the year of the FDI opening, the TFP of domestic plants is 11 percent higher in treated districts, employment in domestic plants increases and more domestic plants open.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, local economic development, productivity and technology
    JEL: F21 O18 D24
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Zoltan Csefalvay (European Commission - JRC); Petros Gkotsis (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Where does Europe stand in the global robotisation race? This paper aims to answer this question by developing a novel theoretical and analytical framework which applies the concept of a global value chain to robotisation. By doing this, we investigate in detail the entire robotisation chain, from robotics developers to robot manufacturers, and companies that deploy industrial robots. For the research and development (R&D)-intensive part of the chain (robotics development), we analyse the robotics patent data of the Worldwide Patent Statistical Database (PATSTAT) combined with ORBIS, while for the capital-intensive part (deployment of robots), our information is sourced from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Our results show that although the ‘big five’ (Europe, USA, China, Japan, and Korea) dominate the global robotisation landscape they do not all hold equally strong positions across the whole robotisation chain. Japan and Korea are the early first-movers and today’s global leaders, as they are robustly engaged in every part of the chain. Europe is very strong in robot manufacturing and robot deployment, but is behind global leaders in robotics development. The USA has its firm competitive advantages in robotics development, while at present the latecomer China is a rival only in the industrial deployment of robots. Nevertheless, in Europe, some smaller and advanced economies are specialising in certain parts of the robotisation chain, as Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden are performing well in robotics development; not only this, Belgium, Italy, and Spain are making extensive use of industrial robots for various kinds of manufacturing. European economies which are lagging behind the rest – largely consisting of Central and Eastern European countries – are involved in the robotisation chain only insofar as they are involved in robot deployment. Since there are only 43 countries globally who are taking part in robotisation, the eminent policy challenge remains to find ways for countries to become integrated into the robotisation chain, and for those countries already engaged in robotisation, the main focus is to create policies which support upgrading across the chain, as the reshoring of previously offshored production becomes more prevalent.
    Keywords: robotisation, global value chain, robotics patent, industrial transformation, territorial development, Europe
    JEL: O3 O14 O30 O25
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Sergio Petralia; ;
    Abstract: The pervasive diffusion of electricity-related technologies at the beginning of the 20th century has been studied extensively to understand the transformative potential of General Purpose Technologies (GPTs). Most of what we know, however, has been investigated in relation to the diffusion of their use. This article provides evidence on the county-level economic impact of the technological adoption of Electrical & Electronic (E&E) technologies in the 1920s in the United States (US). Thus focusing on the impact of a GPT on technological adopters, i.e. those who are able to develop, transform and complement it. It is shown that places with patenting activity in E&E technologies grew faster and paid higher wages than others between 1920 and 1930. This analysis required constructing a novel database identifying detailed geographical information for historical patent documents in the US since 1836, as well as developing a text-mining algorithm to identify E&E patents based on patent descriptions.
    Keywords: Disruptive Technological Change, General Purpose Technologies, Historical Patent Documents, Technological Adoption
    JEL: O33 O31 O30
    Date: 2020–08
  6. By: Grimm, Michael (University of Passau); Luck, Nathalie (University of Passau)
    Abstract: In many parts of the world, several decades of intensively applying Green Revolution technologies came at environmental costs, i.e. degraded water and soil quality as well as a loss of biodiversity. This has led to an increased interest in alternative farming systems such as organic farming, which is commonly perceived as more sustainable. Despite many initiatives to promote organic farming, it remains a marginal activity in many countries. Widespread uptake of organic farming requires a better understanding of the drivers for and barriers to its adoption. Previous studies highlighted information as an important driver of agricultural technology adoption. Yet, despite the variety of programs studied, little is known about the role of removing information constraints in the context of organic farming. In this paper, we focus on the role of information provision and training as one driver for the adoption of organic farming practices in Indonesia. We use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to identify the impact of a three-day hands-on training in organic farming on smallholder farmers' adoption and knowledge of such practices as well as on their perception towards organic farming. We find that the training intervention had a positive and statistically significant effect on the use of organic inputs. We further find positive and statistically significant treatment effects with respect to knowledge about and perception of organic farming. Overall, our findings suggest that intense training is a promising instrument to increase the uptake of organic farming.
    Keywords: organic farming, technology adoption, RCT, Indonesia
    JEL: C93 O12 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2020–06

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