nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2012‒10‒13
twelve papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. An exam of the spatial patterns of innovation in Brazilian industry: an empirical analysis By Veneziano Araujo; Renato Garcia
  2. Determinants of innovation in a small open economy: A multidimensional perspective By Luisa Carvalho; Teresa Costa; Jorge Caiado
  3. R&D, innovation and economic growth: spatial heterogeneity in Europe By Roberta Capello; Camilla Lenzi
  4. Knowledge Creation vs Knowledge Co-Production: Knowledge Intensive Business Servises and Innovative Activity in EU Regions By Gianni Guastella; Frank van Oort
  5. The role of university-firm relations to foster regional development: evidence from Brazilian Amazon By Ana Paula Bastos; Leandro Almeida; Marcia Diniz; Marcelo Diniz
  6. Combination of regional characteristics for start-up activity in Switzerland By Franz Kronthaler; Katharina Becker; Kerstin Wagner
  7. Spin-off: Individual, Firm, Industry and Regional Determinants By Baltzopoulos, Apostolos; Braunerhjelm, Pontus; Tikoudis, Ioannis
  8. What makes Chinese firms productive? Learning from indigenous and foreign sources of knowledge By Boeing, Philipp; Mueller, Elisabeth; Sandner, Philipp
  9. Identifying Clusters within R&D Intensive Industries Using Local Spatial Methods By Reinhold Kosfeld
  10. Determinants of Convergence and Disparities in Europe: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Processes of Clustering By Andreas P. Cornett; Nils Karl Soerensen
  11. Urban size and KIBS vertical disintegration: Evidence from Lombardy By Roberto Antonietti; Giulio Cainelli
  12. Foreign Direct Investment and Technology Transfers to Local Suppliers: Identifying the effects of type of ownership and the technology gap By Jacob A. Jordaan

  1. By: Veneziano Araujo; Renato Garcia
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to exam the spatial patterns of innovative performance in Brazilian industry, taking into account its regional interdependencies, and the impact of the main innovative inputs. There is a huge literature concerning regional innovation and the importance of local inputs in innovative performance. However, most of the studies use data from developed countries. This paper verifies if the role played by innovative inputs in developed countries remain important in developing ones, in which patents are proportionally rare. In this sense, it’s applied an empirical model based in the Jaffe’s (1989) knowledge production function to Brazilian regions. The model uses patents as a proxy for the innovative output and includes regional variables of local industrialand academic R&D, agglomeration characteristics and some spatial elements such as neighborhood’s innovative activities. The main results show the importance of local industrial R&D to regional innovation measured by patents, and, similarly, a relation between patenting activity of the firms and local academic research. With the purpose of evaluate which externality is more important to innovation in Brazilian regions, marshallian or jacobian externalities; the Krugman specialization-diversification index of industrial employment is adopted in the model. The importance of been close to the most innovative regions is assessed with the commonly used spatial lagged variables and the estimation results corroborates the relevance of technological spillovers spatial mediated. Finally, some efforts are made to exam other kinds of proximity as proposed by Boschma (2005) and a network weight matrix based on university-industry collaborative links, such as Ponds et al (2010), is added to the model to test the importance of non spatial proximity. The overall conclusion suggests that in Brazilian case, main innovative inputs seemed in developed countries remain important, but presents also some specificity such as a strong concentration of innovative activities in the Southeast related with the industrial agglomeration and different relative magnitude importance in some local determinants of innovation. JEL Code: O18 ;O33; R11. Key-words: Regional innovation – Patents – Spatial analysis – Brazil Area: D. Entrepreneurship, networks and innovation
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Luisa Carvalho (School of Business Administration, ESCE/Polytechnic Institute of Setubal); Teresa Costa (School of Business Administration, ESCE/Polytechnic Institute of Setubal); Jorge Caiado (CEMAPRE, School of Economics and Management (ISEG), Technical University of Lisbon)
    Abstract: This paper uses logistic regression analysis to examine how intramural and extramural R&D, acquisition of machinery, equipment and software, acquisition of external knowledge, training, market introduction and other procedures and technical preparations determine the innovation behaviour of manufacturing and service firms. We adopt a multidimensional view of innovation by considering product, process, organizational and marketing innovations as dependent variables separately. The study reports on the Community Innovation Survey (CIS4) of a small open-economy country. The empirical results indicate that intramural R&D has a positive impact on innovation. In contrast, the influence of extramural R&D on innovation is unclear. All innovation activities contribute towards organizational innovation. The study also suggests that there are no significant differences between services and manufacturing firms concerning the propensity to innovation.
    Keywords: Innovation, manufacturing firms, service firms, CIS
    JEL: L60 L80 O30 O32
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Roberta Capello; Camilla Lenzi
    Abstract: In this paper, we aim at re-assessing the undisputed positive relationship between innovation and economic growth by questioning the view that R&D (and formal knowledge in general) equates innovation and innovation equates regional growth. We rather propose that these linkages are strongly mediated by local territorial assets and explore this relationship at the regional level (NUTS2) for 262 regions of the European Union. In doing so, we rely upon an original database encompassing several knowledge and innovation indicators, ranging from R&D expenditures, patent data, to newly released data on different types of innovation: product, process and marketing and/or organizational innovation, derived from the Community Innovation Survey 2002-2004 wave. The data set also includes several variables aimed at capturing different elements characterizing possible different attitudes and patterns of innovation that we control for, such as regional preconditions for knowledge and innovation creation and acquisition (namely, accessibility, trust, structural funds funding, foreign direct investments). The results of the analysis confirm that R&D is an important driver of economic growth. However, this result hides a larger territorial heterogeneity and needs some qualifications. Firstly, only regions strongly endowed with elements supporting knowledge creation processes are likely to benefit from the positive returns to R&D; a critical mass of R&D investments is therefore needed in order to exploit the eventual benefits arising from increasing returns to research expenditures. Secondly, once controlling for innovative behavior, R&D does not show anymore a significant impact on GDP growth. In fact, whereas the growth benefits accruing from R&D look rather selective and concentrated in a relatively small number of regions, the benefits accruing from innovation look not only of greater magnitude but more pervasive and beneficial for a larger number of regions. From these findings, we ultimately draw ad-hoc policy suggestions.
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Gianni Guastella; Frank van Oort
    Abstract: Regional economies are continuously evolving shifting from more traditional manufacturing toward more service-oriented production systems. Despite the increasing relevance of services, however, the analysis of innovation at the regional aggregate level has mainly focused on manufacturing, gathering the attention on the role of R&D expenditure as input in the production process and, in some cases, accounting for research-based knowledge externalities. In this paper the role of Knowledge Intensive Business Services is studied and their contribution to the regional aggregate innovation is evaluated. The aim is twofold. First is to provide insights on the role covered by KIBS as a second knowledge infrastructure. Second is to examine the extent to which KIBS operate as bridges between the general purpose analytical knowledge produced by scientific universities and more specific requirement of innovative firms. A role commonly acknowledged to KIBS is in fact that of knowledge transferors. If on the one side it is however clear to whom they transfer knowledge, their client firms, on the other it is not as clear from whom the knowledge is originally transferred. For this reason a major attention in this work is dedicated to scientific universities considered as a primary source of knowledge. Being this knowledge analytical and highly codified, it probably can be more easily accessed by nearby located firms having higher opportunities of research collaboration and less easily by firms located in different regions. It is argued that KIBS, in transferring knowledge from universities to firms, are therefore specially important in the latter case. To test hese hypothesis a knowledge production function is estimated for a sample of 200 EU NUTS II regions including also information of university research and KIBS concentration. Parameters are estimated using the heteroschedasticity-consistent G2SLS estimator for spatial models and the evidence suggests that the contribution of KIBS to regional innovation is considerable. In fact accounting for the knowledge embedded in business services can considerably contribute to explain the cross-regional variation in innovative activities. Furthermore it is find that the KIBS contribution is more sizeable in regions in which there are not scientific universities. The highlighted results have important policy implications asking to rethink to how much effective an R&D-centered innovation strategy could be, at least in some regions.
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Ana Paula Bastos; Leandro Almeida; Marcia Diniz; Marcelo Diniz
    Abstract: The role of universities for the innovation process of countries or regions had been widely explored. In lagged regions becomes a reference not only for qualification and research but concentrates brains and fixes qualified people. This paper analyses innovation and especially the interaction of firms with universities and research institutes, as strategy to face the low internal investment capacity in innovation. Our focus is the ultra-peripheral region of Brazilian Amazon and it is part of a larger research project which investigates these interactions internationally. The interest in studying these interactions in Brazil are based on findings that the investments in R&D by the private sector are low, and the national (and thus regional) innovation systems are immature (Albuquerque, 1998). Data was collected based on a questionnaire applied to firms, adapted by Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil from the Carnegie Mellon (Cohen, 2002) and Yale Surveys (Klevorick, 1995) on firms’ interaction. The sample was taken from a database of university-based research groups registered in CNPq (national agency of research funding), that declared some kind of innovative relationship with firms. Although, the interaction between universities and firms has been considered crucial for the development of innovation, we found very few interactions resulting in a low complementary role or even substitute R&D efforts of these firms. Results show that the continuous interactions between firms and university are restricted to agronomy, energy, electrical and mining engineering. And that the role of university in leading the process is not sufficient to suppress the peripheral condition of the Amazon region.
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Franz Kronthaler; Katharina Becker; Kerstin Wagner
    Abstract: Start-up activities are considered to be important for regional economic development which varies considerably between regions. As new firm formation and growth is strongly influenced by regional conditions, we analyse the role of regional conditions and their impact on start-up activities. In particular, this study assumes that the combination of the determinants, which are considered to have an impact on firm formations rates, influences regional start-up activity. To test this assumption the paper uses a two-step procedure, employing cluster analysis combined with non-parametric testing. Firstly, homogenous types of regions with regard to their structural characteristics conducive for entrepreneurial activities are formed with the help of cluster analysis. Secondly, Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney test are used to find out whether the different types of regions with a specific composition of factors perform equally in new firm formation. The analysis is based on the spatial level of Swiss ‘mobilité spatiale’ regions (MS-regions). MS-regions are functional units based on economic interaction and commuting movements. The research strategy makes it possible to discuss whether different regional combinations of factors lead to high or low similar start-up rates within regions. The results show firstly that regions with an overall high potential, due to their factor endowment, have in fact high start-up rates, whereas regions with a low potential have low start-up rates. Furthermore, the results show secondly that the combination of factor endowments seems to be important as well. Completely different regional combinations of factors conducive for entrepreneurial activity can lead to similar high or low start-up rates. Hence, not only single factors shape firm formation rates in regions. It is also the combination and interrelationship of the various parameters which can be important for different types of regions. The findings of this study may have implications for policy makers in that they have not only the opportunity to influence single factors in order to increase the dynamics of entrepreneurial activity in their region. They need to focus on the region specific structure. It also means that other regions cannot easily be used as a benchmark. For regional policy, each region has to incorporate its own specific combination of factors conducive for new venture creation. Keywords: Regional Economics, Entrepreneurship, Business Formation JEL classification: R11, L26, R58
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Baltzopoulos, Apostolos (The Nordic Centre for Spatial Development); Braunerhjelm, Pontus (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Tikoudis, Ioannis (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The extent and importance of spin-offs for industrial dynamics have been analysed in a number of previous studies, yet knowledge is surprisingly scarce about the determinants that trigger such entrepreneurial ventures. In the current analysis we use unique and detailed Swedish data to comprehensively explore how individual, firm, regional, and industry variables influence spin-offs during 1999-2005. In addition to the expected general positive impact of regional size and entrepreneurial culture, we find specific features for knowledge intensive manufacturing and service production on the propensity of employees to spin off a new venture. Moreover, we use an entropy measure to disentangle unrelated and related variety, and find that the former has a significantly negative impact while the latter a significantly positive effect on the propensity of the individual to start a spin-off.
    Keywords: Spin-offs; entrepreneurship; industries; regions
    JEL: D01 O12 O18 R10
    Date: 2012–01–30
  8. By: Boeing, Philipp; Mueller, Elisabeth; Sandner, Philipp
    Abstract: This study investigates how in-house R&D as well as access to national and foreign knowledge sources influences the productivity of Chinese firms. For our main analysis we use data for 1,140 patenting firms listed at mainland China stock exchanges over the time-period 2001-2010. In-house R&D based on indigenous knowledge does indeed improve productivity as does engaging in joint research projects with national partners. In order to benefit from international knowledge, Chinese firms are dependent on an organizational integration of the knowledge source. Joint ventures with foreign partners, acquisitions of foreign firms, and employing foreign researchers inside China contribute to firm productivity, whereas international joint research projects are not sufficient. Our results indicate that at the current stage of China's economic development the absorptive capacity of most firms is sufficient to benefit from foreign sources of knowledge only if an enduring, deep relationship supports the absorption of the knowledge. --
    Keywords: indigenous innovation,China,knowledge sources,productivity,absorptive capacity,patents
    JEL: O32 O33
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Reinhold Kosfeld
    Abstract: In recent times, there has been a renewed interest in cluster policies for supporting industrial and regional development. Prominent economics like Porter and Krugman emphasise the role of clusters in regional competition and show in which way clusters can positively affect competition by increasing productivity and innovation. Because of the linkage between growth and innovation, R&D intensive industries play a crucial role in cluster development strategies. Empirical cluster research has to contribute to the understanding the process of cluster formation. In particular for developing profound clusters strategies and assessing the limits cluster policy, knowledge of existing structures and tendencies is necessary. In these strategies, high-tech and research-intensive industries play a crucial role. Audretsch and Feldman argue that industries with high innovation activity tend to cluster for exploiting benefits from tacit knowledge flows. Krugman stresses that information flows and knowledge spillovers may be sensitive to geographic impediments. Since obstacles tend to rise with increasing distance, spatial clusters may be localised. If, however, geographic barriers are less relevant, the reach of tacit knowledge flows may be much larger. For regional policy the geographical level at which clusters occur is of prominent interest. Traditional concentration indices like the Gini coefficient, Theils’s inequalitiy index or the Ellison-Glaeser index are ‘aspatial’ by construction. This means that these indices disregard relevant spatial information on the distribution of a geo-referenced variable. In particular, attribute values of adjacent regions are completely ignored. Moreover, the spatial scale of clustering formation is not taken into account. First experiences with methods of exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) like local Moran’s I and Getis-Ord Gi statistics in pattern recognition are available. Le Gallo and Ertur (2003) utilise local indicators of spatial association to analyse the distribution of regional GDP per capita in Europe. Feser et al. (2005), Lafourcade and Mion (2007) and Kies et al. (2009) demonstrate the potential of these ESDA techniques in identifying economic clusters and spatial heterogeneity in geographical space. However, while usually local Moran’s I and Getis-Ord Gi statistics are applied in detecting economic clusters, up to now spatial scan techniques are largely ignored (Kang, 2010). In this paper, advantages and pitfalls of spatial scan tests in identifying R&D clusters are examined. Some essentials in implementing spatial scan techniques in economic clusters research are worked out.
    Date: 2012–10
  10. By: Andreas P. Cornett; Nils Karl Soerensen
    Abstract: Innovation and entrepreneurship are key factors in current regional development initiatives, derived from the concepts of new economic growth theory. The aim of this paper is to combine an assessment of innovative and entrepreneurial performance with the spatial distribution and functional linkages of certain types of economic clusters. The hypothesis is that clustered regions with high entrepreneurial and innovative performance have higher growth than non- innovative/entrepreneurial regions or regions with a more scattered economic structure. The clustering and in some cases even the polarization of economic activities metropolitan regions can lead to excess growth, and contribute to a process of convergence between nations, but will also turn regional economic divergence back on the national economic development agenda. The purpose of this paper is to provide in deep information on these processes in an international and perspective based on European empirical evidence. The first part of the paper addresses the development and growth issue in a theoretical development policy perspective. The impacts of innovation (measured by innovation scoreboard data) and entrepreneurship (GEM data etc.) on regional growth are estimated individual and combined as well as dummies for various levels of industrial clustering (measured by location quotients and the change of LQ) are included. Within these groups we study the process of convergence by use of the traditional measures of convergence. The findings are compared with traditional geographical convergence results, enabling an analysis based both on traditional geographical adjacent regions, often characterized by a common institutional framework, and regions characterized by common features in economic performance terms. Based on the empirical results and the findings of the literature survey in the first part of the paper the final section provides an assessment of the overall trends in economic convergence and disparities and the drivers behind this process.
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: Roberto Antonietti; Giulio Cainelli
    Abstract: A recent strand of the economic literature has emphasised the role of services, and in particular knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), as a primary source of knowledge creation and diffusion. Since this transferring process often occurs through strong face-to-face interactions, the role of spatial proximity becomes crucial. Theoretical and empirical literature show that the geographic concentration of industry induces firms to vertically disintegrate their production, due to the lowering of transport and governance costs as well as to the reduction of opportunism in managing transactions. However, the evidence is primarily based on manufacturing firms, whereas little or no attention is given to service firms. In this paper we try to fill this gap by estimating the effects of urban agglomeration on knowledge intensive business service firms’ vertical disintegration in a longitudinal context, with reference to the Lombardy region in Italy. Data used in this work are drawn from AIDA, a commercial database collected by Bureau Van Dijck gathering information on balance sheets data as well as the geographical position of Italian joint stock companies. Relying on this rich firm-level dataset, we build a sample of almost 17.000 KIBS firms located in Lombardy over the period 2004-2009, and we estimate both a first difference and an instrumental variable GMM model in which, as dependent variable, we use both the share of purchased business services and the share of material inputs, while, as explanatory variables, we include firm size, age and population size at the municipality and local labour system level. In so doing, we estimate the impact that the short-run variations in urban size have on the short-run variations in the degree of vertical disintegration of KIBS, while controlling for potential endogeneity issues due to unobserved heterogeneity and simultaneity, and for the robustness of our measure of urban size to alternative specifications. Our results complement previous cross-sectional evidence and point to a positive and statistically significant effect of urban size on the degree of vertical disintegration. In addition, we find that this effect is particularly strong for professional KIBS and for the purchase of business services rather than for technological KIBS and for the purchase of material inputs. Keywords: agglomeration, KIBS, urban size, vertical disintegration JEL: C33; D22; R12; L24
    Date: 2012–10
  12. By: Jacob A. Jordaan
    Abstract: In this paper, I present novel empirical evidence in support of the idea that FDI firms can act as an important driver of regional growth, by acting as a source of new knowledge and technologies to local suppliers in a host economy. For the analysis, I use unique firm level data that I obtained from applying several purpose built surveys among FDI and domestic producer firms as well as local suppliers in the regional economy of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. With this data, I assess the scale and nature of technology transfers between FDI firms and local suppliers and I identify statistically factors that influence the spillover impact that arises from these transfers. The main findings are threeÂ]fold. Firsts, I find clear and robust evidence that FDI firms are significantly more involved than domestic producer firms in various knowledge transfer activities, activities with a direct positive impact on production processes of the local suppliers. As a result, suppliers of FDI firms are more likely to experience large positive technological improvements. Second, the analysis shows that a large technology gap between FDI and local suppliers fosters rather than hinders this positive impact among local suppliers of material inputs. This effect persists even when I control for both the level and nature of support that FDI firms provide, suggesting that in particular local suppliers that have a large potential to improve can benefit from their business dealings with FDI firms. Third, I also find that several indicators of the level of absorptive capacity of local suppliers are positively associated with the technology impact that FDI firms create, indicating that there is scope for local policymaking to enhance the positive impact that foreignÂ]owned firms generate in their local host economy. Key Words: FDI, Local Suppliers, Regional Growth, Technology Transfers, Technology Gap, Absorptive Capacity JEL Classification: C21, F23, O18, O33
    Date: 2012–10

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