nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2013‒05‒19
thirteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. OVER-INDEBTEDNESS AND INNOVATION: SOME PRELIMINARY RESULTS By Damiana Giuseppina Costanzo; Damiano Bruno Silipo; Marianna Succurro
  2. 東海地域における中小企業の経営力強化のための 金融機関と自治体等の取り組みの現状と課題 ―中小企業アンケート調査の概要- By Yamori, Nobuyoshi; Tomimura, Kei; Takaku, Kenya
  3. Governance and success of university-industry collaborations on the basis of Ph.D. projects: an explorative study By Negin Salimi; Rudi Bekkers; Koen Frenken
  4. Traditional industrial districts in the face of globalization: the case of the Marche footwear district By Eleonora Cutrini; Giacinto Micucci; Pasqualino Montanaro
  5. From Tradition to Modernity: Economic Growth in a Small World By Ines Lindner; Holger Strulik
  6. Geographic Concentration of Business Services Firms: A Poisson Sorting Model By Hans Koster; Jos N. van Ommeren; Piet Rietveld
  7. Sources of Growth By David Audretsch; Roy Thurik
  8. Why do Entrepreneurial Parents have Entrepreneurial Children? By Matthew Lindquist; Joeri Sol; Mirjam van Praag
  9. In Defense of Trusts: R&D Cooperation in Global Perspective By Jeroen Hinloopen; Grega Smrkolj; Florian Wagener
  10. The Effect of Early Entrepreneurship Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment By Laura Rosendahl Huber; Randolph Sloof; Mirjam van Praag
  11. Quantifying Productivity Gains from Foreign Investment By Christian Fons-Rosen; Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan; Bent E. Sorensen; Carolina Villegas-Sanchez; Vadym Volosovych
  12. Total Factor Productivity and the Role of Entrepreneurship By Hugo Erken; Piet Donselaar; Roy Thurik
  13. Determinants of firm competitiveness: case of the Turkish textile and apparel industry By Lau, Chi Keung Marco; Suvankulov, Farrukh; Karabag, Solmaz Filiz

  1. By: Damiana Giuseppina Costanzo; Damiano Bruno Silipo; Marianna Succurro (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Statistiche e Finanziarie, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: The paper studies the impact of firms’ over-indebtedness on innovation. First, we build up an over-indebtedness index which takes account of the firm’s level and structure of the debt as well as of its sustainability. Secondly, we investigate to what extent over-indebtedness explains firms’ innovative activity by focusing on Italian manufacturing firms over the 2003-2010 period. Empirical evidence suggests that indebtedness plays a significant role in explaining firms’ innovative activity, both in the Centre-North and in the South of Italy. Highly indebted firms are also more innovative, but more innovative firms are also less capable to sustain their debts out of current profits. With respect to the Centre-North, empirical results confirm the significant role played by other forms of indebtedness in explaining innovation also when we focus only on high-tech sectors and on over-indebted firms. With respect to the South, the relationship between debt and innovation is confirmed, but it is stronger for the over-indebted firms in the high tech industries.
    Keywords: Over-indebtedness, Innovation, PCA
    JEL: C10 D22 G20 G30 O30
    Date: 2013–04
  2. By: Yamori, Nobuyoshi; Tomimura, Kei; Takaku, Kenya
    Abstract: This paper reports a survey result conducted in May 2012. We sent a questionnaire to 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), whose main business sector is manufacture and which locate in Aichi Prefecture, one of the largest economic regions in Japan. 803 SMEs answered this questionnaire. We asked 53 questions, including firm’s current business condition, relationship with their main banks, financial support from local governments, cooperation with universities and research institutes, and usage of public guarantee scheme. The main feature of this survey is that it focuses on the role of local government in providing financial supports to SMEs. According to the results, approximately 30% of the respondents currently use financial support programs provided by local governments, such as favorable fixed interest rates loan guaranteed by public guarantee corporations. Over 90% of the respondents understand outlines of these financial support programs. We find that the support programs are very popular among SMEs. Many respondents that have used the program said that the programs contribute to the improvement of corporate performance and enable them to invest new equipment. Also, we asked SMEs about cooperation with universities and research institutes. We found that 63% of the respondents have not worked with universities and research institutes, and only 3.7% of the respondents experienced successful results, such as new products and services. We believe that Japanese SMEs should conduct innovations in order to survive in more and more competitive environments, and business-academia collaboration appears a promising way to conduct innovations. We have to analyze what are main obstacles for the collaboration and how we can encourage SMEs to participate in the collaborating activity.
    Keywords: SME; Japan; Regional government, Regional banking; Business Support; questionnaire ; Aichi
    JEL: G21 G28
    Date: 2013–05–14
  3. By: Negin Salimi; Rudi Bekkers; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: Faced with ever-increasing pressure to innovate and perform, firms consider universities as a significant, external source of knowledge. There is a variety of ways through which such knowledge flow can take place, including academic publications, contract research, staff mobility and university patents and licenses, but also more collaborative modes such as joint research projects. This paper focuses on a specific – and promising – collaborative model, in which firms and universities are together involved in a Ph.D. project, carried out by a doctoral candidate. We model the relationship on the one hand on various aspects of governance, and the success of the collaboration on the other. Here, success is operationalized in a number of different ways, including the successful transfer, the application and the commercialization of knowledge. Our model was tested using a survey conducted at the Eindhoven University of Technology. We conclude that governance decisions have a significant impact on the ultimate success. Among other things, the choice of university supervisor plays a pivotal role. Moreover, success is more likely if there is joint decision-making by both university and partner on the content of the project, and communication between the Ph.D. candidate and their supervisor in the firm has a high frequency and quality. We believe our findings can help universities and firms to collaborate successfully.
    Keywords: Collaborative Ph.D. projects; governance of university-industry collaborations; collaboration success.
    Date: 2013–04
  4. By: Eleonora Cutrini (University of Macerata); Giacinto Micucci (Bank of Italy); Pasqualino Montanaro (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the case of the Marche footwear districts. Statistical evidence and interviews with entrepreneurs suggest that the traditional inter-firm relationships within these districts have significantly changed during the past decade. Some leading firms have been building up more exclusive relations with their suppliers, including those abroad, along “buyer-driven” value chains. Moreover, firms have been adopting different strategies, following two main paths: the first is a “focusing-on-quality” strategy, based on upgrading the quality of the goods and investing in brands, R&D and specific distribution channels; the second is a “focusing-on-costs” strategy, which aims at minimizing the production costs of a medium-quality range of goods, including outsourcing abroad. This study shows that firms which focused on quality did better than others, both in the years before the crisis of 2008-09 and during the recession.
    Keywords: global value chain, industrial districts, internationalization, footwear industry, firms’ organization and strategies
    JEL: L23 L25 L67 R11
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: Ines Lindner (VU University Amsterdam); Holger Strulik (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: This paper introduces the Small World model (Watts and Strogatz, Nature, 1998) into the theory of economic growth and investigates how increasing economic integration affects firm size and efficiency, norm enforcement, and aggregate economic performance. When economic integration is low and local connectivity is high, informal norms control entrepreneurial behavior and more integration mainly improves search for efficient investment opportunities. At a higher level of economic integration neighborhood enforcement deteriorates and formal institutions are needed to keep entrepreneurs in check. A gradual take-off to perpetual growth is explained by a feedback effect from investment to the formation of long-distance links and the diffusion of knowledge. If formal institutions are weak, however, the economy does not take off but stagnates at an intermediate income level. Structurally, the equilibrium of stagnation differs from balanced growth by the presence of relatively many small firms of low productivity.
    Keywords: modernization, economic integration, firm size, norms, networks, knowledge spillovers, growth
    JEL: O10 O40 L10 L14 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–10
  6. By: Hans Koster (VU University Amsterdam); Jos N. van Ommeren (VU University Amsterdam); Piet Rietveld (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of specialisation (within-sector clustering) and diversity (between-sector clustering) on business services profitability and location choice. We apply a semiparametric Poisson sorting model allowing for firm-specific effects. We find that for most firms, profitability of business services firms is substantially higher close to specialised clusters of business services firms. A standard deviation increase in business services specialisation leads to on average a 40 percent increase in the probability that a business services firm locates there, supporting theories of Marshall, Arrow and Romer. It is also profitable for most business services firms to locate near a group of firms that belong to the same sector, not necessarily business services firms, so diversity is negatively related to location decisions. Almost all firms either benefit from within-sector clustering or between-sector clustering. Within-sector clusters are particularly profitable for large mature firms, whereas between-sector clusters are relatively more profitable for smaller innovative firms.
    Keywords: Sorting; Agglomeration Economies; Specialisation; Diversity; Heterogeneity; Semiparametric Estimation
    JEL: R12 R14 R39
    Date: 2011–06–06
  7. By: David Audretsch (The Georgia State University); Roy Thurik (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to suggest that a fundamental shift in Europe, along with the other OECD countries, is taking place. This shift is from the managed economy to the entrepreneurial economy. While politicians and policy makers have made a plea for guidance in the era of entrepreneurship, scholars have been slow to respond. The purpose of this paper is to make a first step identifying and articulating these differences. We do this by contrasting the most fundamental elements of the newly emerging entrepreneurial economy with those of the managed economy. We identify fifteen trade-offs confronting these two polar worlds. The common thread throughout these trade-offs is the increased role of new and small enterprises in the entrepreneurial economy. A particular emphasis is placed on changes in economic policy demanded by the entrepreneurial economy vis-à-vis the managed economy. We then explore whether restructuring towards the entrepreneurial economy has been conducive to economic growth and job creation. Our empirical analysis links the stage of the transition towards an entrepreneurial economy to the growth rates of European countries over a recent period. We find that those countries which have introduced a greater element of entrepreneurship have been rewarded with additional growth.
    JEL: O0 L0
  8. By: Matthew Lindquist (SOFI Stockholm University); Joeri Sol (University of Amsterdam); Mirjam van Praag (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Parental entrepreneurship is a strong, probably the strongest, determinant of own entrepreneurship. We explore the origins of this intergenerational association in entrepreneurship. In particular, we identify the separate effects of pre- and post-birth factors (nature and nurture), by using a unique dataset of Swedish adoptees. Its unique characteristic is that it not only includes data on occupational status for the adoptees and their adoptive parents, but also for their biological parents. Moreover, we use comparable data on entrepreneurship for a large, representative sample of the Swedish population. Based on the latter sample, and consistent with previous findings, we show that parental entrepreneurship increases the probability of children's entrepreneurship by about 60%. We further show that for adoptees, both biological and adoptive parents make significant contributions. These effects, however, are quite different in size. The effect of post-bir th factors (adoptive parents) is approximately twice as large as the effect of pre-birth factors (biological parents). The sum of these two effects for adopted children is almost identical to the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship for own-birth children. We explore several candidate explanations for this important post-birth effect and present suggestive evidence in favor of role modeling.
    Keywords: adoption, entrepreneurship, self-employment, intergenerational mobility, occupational choice, role model
    JEL: J24 J62 L26
    Date: 2012–07–06
  9. By: Jeroen Hinloopen (University of Amsterdam); Grega Smrkolj (University of Amsterdam); Florian Wagener (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We examine the trade-off between the benefits of allowing firms to cooperate in R&D and the corresponding increased potential for product market collusion. For that we utilize a dynamic model of R&D whereby we consider all possible initial marginal cost levels (technologies), including those that exceed the choke price. This global analysis yields four possibilities: initial marginal costs are above the choke price and this technology is, or is not, developed further, and initial marginal costs are below the choke price and the technology is, or is not, (eventually) taken off the market. We show that an extension of the cooperative agreement towards collusion in the product market is not necessarily welfare reducing: if firms collude, they (i) develop further a wider range of initial technologies, (ii) invest more in R&D such that process innovations are pursued more quickly, and (iii) abandon the technology for a smaller set of initial marginal costs. We also dis cuss the implications of our analysis for antitrust policy.
    Keywords: Antitrust policy, Bifurcations, Collusion, R&D cooperatives, Spillovers
    JEL: D43 D92 L13 L41 O31 O38
    Date: 2013–03–15
  10. By: Laura Rosendahl Huber (University of Amsterdam); Randolph Sloof (University of Amsterdam); Mirjam van Praag (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of early entrepreneurship education. To this end, we conduct a randomized field experiment to evaluate a leading entrepreneurship education program that is taught worldwide in the final grade of primary school. We focus on pupils' development of relevant skill sets for entrepreneurial activity, both cognitive and non-cognitive. The results indicate that cognitive entrepreneurial skills are unaffected by the program. However, the program has a robust positive effect on non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills. This is surprising since previous evaluations found zero or negative effects. Because these earlier studies all pertain to education for adolescents, our result tentatively suggests that non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills are best developed at an early age.
    Keywords: Skill formation, field experiment, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship
    JEL: L26 I21 J24 C93
    Date: 2012–04–20
  11. By: Christian Fons-Rosen (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics); Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan (University of Maryland, CEPR, and NBER); Bent E. Sorensen (University of Houston and CEPR); Carolina Villegas-Sanchez (ESADE - Universitat Ramon Llull); Vadym Volosovych (Erasmus University Rotterdam and ERIM Research Institute of Management)
    Abstract: We quantify the causal effect of foreign investment on total factor productivity (TFP) using a new global firm-level database. Our identification strategy relies on exploiting the difference in the amount of foreign investment by financial and industrial investors and simultaneously controlling for unobservable firm and country-sector-year factors. Using our well identified firm level estimates for the direct effect of foreign ownership on acquired firms and for the spillover effects on domestic firms, we calculate the aggregate impact of foreign investment on country-level productivity growth and find it to be very small.
    Keywords: Multinationals, FDI, Knowledge Spillovers, Selection, Productivity
    JEL: E32 F15 F36 O16
    Date: 2013–04–11
  12. By: Hugo Erken (Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Hague); Piet Donselaar (Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Hague); Roy Thurik (Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, EIM Business and Policy Research, Zoetermeer)
    Abstract: Total factor productivity of twenty OECD countries for a recent period (1971-2002) is explained using six different models based on the established literature. Traditionally, entrepreneurship is not dealt with in these models. In the present paper it is shown that – when this variable is added - in all models there is a significant influence of entrepreneurship while the remaining effects mainly stay the same. Entrepreneurship is measured as the business ownership rate (number of business owners per workforce) corrected for the level of economic development (GDP per capita).
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, research and development, entrepreneurship, OECD
    JEL: E20 L26 M13 O10 O30 O40 O50
  13. By: Lau, Chi Keung Marco; Suvankulov, Farrukh; Karabag, Solmaz Filiz
    Abstract: This article explores determinants of competitiveness in the booming Turkish textile and apparel industry. Using focus groups, nationwide survey data and explanatory factor analysis we identify 27 competitiveness items grouped into eight constructs. According to Turkish managers, the competitiveness of textile and apparel firm is heavily determined by the product differentiation, efforts across foreign markets, and availability of government’s incentive and support programs. In contrast to existing studies, we find little evidence that firm networking in different forms such as close relationship politicians and state employees, clustering, and participating in the industry associations have a large effect on firm competitiveness.
    Keywords: firm competitiveness, factor analysis, textile industry, apparel industry, Turkey
    JEL: L00 L19 O53
    Date: 2012–02–13

This nep-sbm issue is ©2013 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. 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.