nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2011‒05‒24
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Entrepreneurs from low-skilled immigrant groups in knowledge-intensive industries - company characteristics, survival and innovative performance By Mueller, Elisabeth
  2. Unraveling the Role of Public Researcher Mobility for Industrial Innovation By Ejsing, Ann-Kathrine; Kaiser, Ulrich; Kongsted, Hans Christian
  3. Immigration and Innovation By David C Maré; Richard Fabling; Steven Stillman
  4. R&D, demand fluctuations and credit constraints: comparative evidence from Europe. By Kadri Männasoo; Jaanika Meriküll
  5. Impact of University Intellectual Property Policy on the Performance of University-Industry Research Collaboration By Hiroyuki Okamuro; Junichi Nishimura
  6. Bounded Learning Efficiency and Sources of Firm Level Productivity Growth in Colombian Food Manufacturing Industry By Shee, Apurba; Stefanou, Spiro E.
  7. Innovation decision of Tunisian service firms: an empirical analysis By Sdiri, Hanen; Ayadi, Mohamed
  8. Are Exporters More Likely to Introduce Product Innovations? By Massimiliano Bratti; Giulia Felice
  9. University-Industry interactions and knowledge transfer mechanisms: a critical survey By Azele Mathieu

  1. By: Mueller, Elisabeth
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how companies of immigrant entrepreneurs in knowledgeintensive industries differ from companies of native entrepreneurs with respect to start-up characteristics, firm survival and innovative performance. I focus on immigrants from the 'recruitment countries' of south and southeast Europe, who arrived in Germany mainly in the 1970s to fill labor shortages. They are the largest immigrant group in Germany and can be reliably identified via ethnic name coding. Immigrant entrepreneurs are less than half as likely to found a company in a knowledge-intensive industry as native entrepreneurs. Firms owned exclusively by immigrants tend to be smaller and have higher exit rates. After controlling for resources, I found no differences in patenting activity compared to firms owned exclusively by natives. Firms in mixed immigrant/native ownership have no size disadvantage. In that group, exit rates are higher in services but not in manufacturing, and, again, there are no differences in patenting when resources are taken into account. The lower participation of immigrant entrepreneurs in knowledge-intensive industries can be explained by lower education levels, while smaller firm sizes suggest more limited access to capital. --
    Keywords: immigrants,innovation,entrepreneurship,knowledge-intensive industries
    JEL: O32 O34 M13 J15
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Ejsing, Ann-Kathrine (Danish Insurance Association); Kaiser, Ulrich (University of Zurich); Kongsted, Hans Christian (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We estimate the relative contribution of mobile scientists who leave academia for the private sector on the subsequent innovative performance of the firms they join. We use data on the population of Danish firms and their R&D workers for the period 1999-2004 and measure innovation performance by the (value-adjusted) number of patent applications at the European Patent Office. We compare the efficacy of mobile former university scientists to the effects of mobile workers hired from other firms as well as immobile workers on the innovation performance of their employer. Our main result is that mobile university scientists contribute substantially more to innovation than R&D workers hired from other firms who, in turn, contribute slightly less to industrial innovation than recent university graduates. By contrast, immobile workers add little to the innovative activity of their employer. We also find that the contribution of mobile R&D workers to innovation depreciates fairly rapidly. These findings provide us with three main managerial implications: Firstly, hiring scientists from universities is a way of boosting a firm's innovative activity. Secondly, because hires from academia receive lower wages on average than hires from private sector firms, this implies that hiring R&D workers from academia may be a cost-effective way of improving innovation performance. Thirdly, firms need to take measures in order to further public-private researcher interaction to prevent the depreciation of the knowledge stock of their employees.
    Keywords: labor mobility, technology transfer, innovation, patents
    JEL: O33 O34 C23
    Date: 2011–05
  3. By: David C Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Richard Fabling (Reserve Bank of New Zealand); Steven Stillman (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, IZA and CReAM)
    Abstract: We combine firm-level innovation data with area-level Census data to examine the relationship between local workforce characteristics, especially the presence of immigrants and local skills, and the likelihood of innovation by firms. We examine a range of innovation outcomes, and test the relationship for selected subgroups of firms. We find a positive relationship between local workforce characteristics and average innovation outcomes in labour market areas, but this is accounted for by variation in firm characteristics such as firm size, industry, and research and development expenditure. Controlling for these influences, we find no systematic evidence of an independent link between local workforce characteristics and innovation.
    Keywords: Innovation; Immigration; Local labour market
    JEL: O31 R30
    Date: 2011–05
  4. By: Kadri Männasoo; Jaanika Meriküll
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature by investigating whether the cyclicality of R&D differs across countries with different levels of development. The paper uses micro-data from the World Bank/EBRD Business Environment and Enterprise Performance survey from 2001- 2007 and estimates bivariate probit model of firms\' R&D conditioned on credit constraints. The main results are: (1) The likelihood of a firm conducting R&D increases with sales growth and decreases with credit constraints. (2) R&D by firms is counter-cyclical to exogenous industry output and a negative industry demand shock has a stronger countercyclical effect on R&D than a positive industry demand shock does. (3) R&D is more counter-cyclical to demand shocks the further the country is from the technological frontier
    Keywords: R&D cyclicality, demand fluctuations, credit constraints, comparative study
    JEL: G31 E32 O30 O52
    Date: 2011–05–13
  5. By: Hiroyuki Okamuro; Junichi Nishimura
    Abstract: Despite various expected advantages, university-industry research collaboration (UIC), a relationship between two different worlds, often faces serious difficulties. Thus, the performance of UIC depends on the research partners' strategies to bridge the gaps between them according to the institutional environment. In Japan, UIC has developed rapidly since the late 1990s based on drastic institutional changes regarding universities. We pay special attention to the role of the university intellectual property (IP) policy introduced after 2003 and empirically examine its impact on the performance of UIC projects. A clear and equitable IP policy that can be applied flexibly to the needs of partners would be optimal for a UIC to be efficiently managed. Otherwise, the project might face serious conflicts of interests and low incentive for cooperation. Using a sample of Japanese firms from our original survey, we find that the IP policy of partner universities indeed has a positive and significant impact on various performances of UIC projects, controlling for firm and project characteristics and considering potential selection bias from UIC participation.
    Keywords: intellectual property, research collaboration, small business, Japan
    JEL: D23 L24 O32 O34
    Date: 2011–05
  6. By: Shee, Apurba; Stefanou, Spiro E.
    Abstract: The measurement of productivity fluctuations has been the focus of decades-long interest. In addition to broad structural forces driving productivity changes, there is more recent interest in measuring and identifying the heterogeneous forces driving these changes. A major force is learning-by-doing which is used by economists to describe the phenomenon of productivity growth arising from the accumulation of production experience by a firm. This paper proposes a bounded learning concept with the learning progress function characterized by the degree of efficiency and the specification of the learning progress as a logistic function capturing both the slow start-up and the limit in learning progress. The inter-firm learning inefficiency is defined as the inability of a firm to reach the optimal plateau relative to the âbest practiceâ firm from the set of comparable firms. We further differentiate learning efficiency from the technical efficiency. The key contribution of this research is to provide a measure the firmâs movement along the learning progress curve and explain the existence of firm-level heterogeneity in learning. The time varying technical efficiency is estimated based on stochastic production frontier methods and firm-specific learning efficiency is disentangled using the residual of the production frontier (productivity).The model is then used to decompose the factor productivity growth into components associated with learning, scale, technical efficiency, technological change and change in allocative efficiency. This productivity growth decomposition provides useful information and policy level insight in firm-level productivity analysis. The major econometric issue in production function estimation is the possibility that there are some forces influencing production that are only observed by the firm and not by the econometrician. With firm input use being endogenous, inputs might be correlated with unobserved productivity shocks. The measure of technical efficiency by estimating the production frontier directly in presence of endogeneity of input choice can be biased in the sense that the measure of efficiency favors the firms employing higher levels of inputs. The Levinsohn and Petrin (2003) approach is extended to overcome this simultaneity problem in stochastic production frontier estimation to generate consistent estimates of production parameters and technical efficiency. The model is applied to plant-level panel data on Colombian food manufacturing sector. The dataset is unique longitudinal data on firms in the sense that it has information on both plant-specific physical quantities and prices for both outputs and inputs. In contrast to most of the existing literature which measure productivity by deflating sales by an industry-level price index, these data eliminate a common source of measurement error in production function estimation. Plant-level productivity growth decomposition and the contribution of learning effect are explored by estimating the production frontier and firm-specific learning efficiency.
    Keywords: Colombian food manufacturing industry, Bounded learning-by-doing, Learning efficiency, Logistic differential equation, Technical efficiency, Firm-level productivity growth, Decomposition of productivity change, Endogeneity of input choice, Stochastic production frontier, Agribusiness, Industrial Organization, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Sdiri, Hanen; Ayadi, Mohamed
    Abstract: Innovation is widely recognised as a key driver of economic growth and competitiveness. But, some works focus especially on analyzing the determinants and the effects of innovation while distinguishing between its various types (product innovation, process innovation, radical innovation and incremental innovation). The analysis of the determinants is certainly important, but few research efforts testing the way in which firms make the decision to innovate. Based on a sample of 108 Tunisian service firms, the purpose of the paper is to explain the way in which firms make the decision to innovate: simultaneous (one-stage model) or sequential (two-stage model). We find that the two-stage model has a statistically-significant advantage in predicting the innovation. In practice, the sequential model illustrates well the innovation making-decision procedures.
    Keywords: Innovation; Decision making; Service sector.
    JEL: O32 O31 L80
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Massimiliano Bratti (University of Milan and IZA); Giulia Felice (University of Milan and Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano)
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between a firm\'s export status and its product innovation activity by using a rich firm-level survey on Italian manufacturing. We find that the positive association between exporting and product innovativeness is robust to controlling for many sources of firm\'s observable heterogeneity. Use of an instrumental variables strategy allows us also to conclude that this association can be qualified as a causal relation: a firm\'s export status induces product innovations (learning by exporting). This effect emerges over and above the correlation accounted for by some of the main channels commonly emphasized by the existing literature. In the light of this evidence, we discuss the sources from which the residual effect of exporting on product innovation that we observe may originate.
    Keywords: Exporters, Firms, Italy, Manufacturing, Product Innovation
    JEL: F1 L2 O3
    Date: 2011–05–09
  9. By: Azele Mathieu
    Abstract: This article reviews the literature on knowledge transfer mechanisms (KTMs) used in university-industry interactions. The literature may be articulated around four dimensions: (i) the relative importance of KTM as perceived by the involved stakeholders, (ii) the factors affecting the organisation of university-industry interactions, (iii) the interrelatedness of different KTMs and, (iv) the impact of increased university-interactions on traditional academic missions. An outstanding fact stemming from this review is that spin-offs and patents are not considered by the university and the industry as the most important KTMs. Traditional KTMs, such as publications or collaborative research however, are perceived as more significant ways of transferring knowledge. A large variety of factors influence the use of a KTM (for instance, characteristics of researchers or of the involved firms). While some trends may be outlined, not much is known so far about the interweaving of different KTMs. Consequently, no simple model of knowledge transfer between universities and the business sector is possible, and should certainly not be restricted to “new” KTMs. As regards to the risks of increased reliance of university on the business sector, I suggest that those risks could be limited under some conditions.
    Keywords: Knowledge transfer mechanisms; University-industry interactions; Impact on academic research
    JEL: L30 O31 O34
    Date: 2011–05

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