nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2014‒11‒01
ten papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Inter-firm R&D cooperation in local innovation networks: The case of Italian technological districts By Otello Ardovino; Luca Pennacchio
  2. Do Credit Constrained Firms in Africa Innovate Less? A Study Based on Nine African Nations By Edward Lorenz
  3. The determinants of R&D persistence in SMEs By Juan A. Máñez; María E. Rochina-Barrachina; Amparo Sanchis-Llopis; Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis
  4. Exports, R&D and Productivity: A test of the Bustos-model with enterprise data from France, Italy and Spain By Joachim Wagner
  5. Which firms create the most jobs in developing countries ? evidence from Tunisia By Rijkers, Bob; Arouri, Hassen; Freund, Caroline; Nucifora, Antonio
  6. Network Determinants of a Collaborative Funding System: The Case of the German Innovation Policy By Florian Umlauf
  7. Promoting the Financing of SMEs and Start-ups in Korea By Randall S. Jones; Myungkyoo Kim
  8. The Role of Communicators in Innovation Clusters By Bettina Blasini; Rani Jeanne Dang; Tim Minshall; Letizia Mortara
  9. The Role of Institutional Characteristics in Knowledge Transfer: A Comparative Analysis of Two Italian Universities. By Rossi, Federica; Fassio,Claudio; Geuna, Aldo
  10. Do spinoff dynamics or agglomeration externalities drive industry clustering? A reappraisal of Steven Klepper’s work By Ron Boschma

  1. By: Otello Ardovino; Luca Pennacchio
    Abstract: This paper explores the drivers of inter-firm R&D collaborations in a particular type of innovation network, the technological districts created in Italy under a specific public policy to promote innovation. The empirical analysis used an original database containing information on research projects activated by the districts and on the characteristics of participating firms. The main results show that districts with governance oriented towards market logic and districts that include several universities foster a stronger cooperation among firms than other districts. In addition, network effects such as structural embeddedness and interlocking directorate greatly influence the propensity to cooperate. Lastly, knowledge transfer and absorptive capacity of firms also play an important role in shaping collaboration strategies. Some considerations about the effectiveness of public policy also emerge from the analysis. In particular technological districts foster research collaborations among small firms and between small and large firms. The latter type of cooperation could be very important to enhance the innovation capabilities of small firms and their performance.
    Keywords: R&D cooperation, innovation networks, firm behaviour, dyadic regession.
    JEL: L14 O31 O32
    Date: 2014–10–09
  2. By: Edward Lorenz (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: This paper draws on the results of World Bank Enterprise surveys to investigate the relation between financials constraints and innovation performance for a sample of firms in 9 African nations: Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, the Central African Republic, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In common with much of the recent literature focusing on these issues, the analysis makes use of direct measures of innovation and of financial constraints. The econometric analysis takes into account the potential endogeneity of financing constraints to the firm’s decision to innovate. The results show that financing constraints have a negative impact on the probability of successful innovation and that this negative impact tends to be greater both for small-sized firms compared to large firms and for young firms compared to old firm. The results have important policy implications and strongly suggest that government subsidies and financial support programs for micro and small-sized firms could make a positive contribution to increasing the innovation performance of African nations.
    Keywords: Contextual Credit constraints, Innovation, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: G32
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Juan A. Máñez (Universitat de València and ERI-CES, Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Avda. dels Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain); María E. Rochina-Barrachina (Universitat de València and ERI-CES, Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Avda. dels Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain); Amparo Sanchis-Llopis (Universitat de València and ERI-CES, Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Avda. dels Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain); Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (Universitat de València and ERI-CES, Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Avda. dels Tarongers s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the sources of persistence in conducting R&D activities by SMEs. The data used is a panel of Spanish manufacturing firms drawn from the Survey of Business Strategies (ESEE), for the period 1990-2011. We estimate discrete time proportional hazard models accounting for firm observed and unobserved heterogeneity. Our results are consistent with a process of learning associated with the accumulation of R&D capital and with a self-sustained effect of engagement in R&D activities. In addition, we obtain that persistence in R&D in SMEs is also related to the success-breeds-success, sunk costs and demand-pull hypotheses. Finally, our findings also uncover some interesting differences in the underlying drivers of R&D persistence of SMEs as compared to their larger counterparts.
    Keywords: SMEs, R&D activities, persistence, learning, success-breeds-success, sunk costs, demand-pull, discrete time survival models
    JEL: C41 L60 O31
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Joachim Wagner (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper uses comparable firm level data from France, Italy and Spain to test a hypothesis derived by Bustos (AER 2011) in a model that explains the decision of heterogeneous firms to export and to engage in R&D. Using a non-parametric test for first order stochastic dominance it is shown that, in line with this hypothesis, the productivity distribution of firms with exports and R&D dominates that of exporters without R&D, which in turn dominates that of firms that neither export nor engage in R&D. These results are in line with findings for Argentina reported by Bustos, and with findings for Germany and Denmark. The model, therefore, seems to be useful to guide empirical work on the relation between exports, R&D and productivity.
    Keywords: Exports, R&D, productivity, EFIGE data, France, Italy, Spain
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Rijkers, Bob; Arouri, Hassen; Freund, Caroline; Nucifora, Antonio
    Abstract: This paper examines private sector job creation in Tunisia over the period 1996-2010 using a unique database containing information on all registered private enterprises, including self-employment. In spite of stable growth of gross domestic product, overall net job creation was disappointing and firm dynamics were sluggish. The firm size distribution has remained skewed toward small firms, because of stagnation of incumbents and entrants starting small, typically as one-person firms (self-employment). Churning is limited, especially among large firms, and few firms manage to grow. Post-entry, small firms are the worst performers for job creation, even if they survive. Moreover, the association between productivity, profitability, and job creation is feeble, pointing towards weaknesses in the re-allocative process. Weak net job creation thus appears to be due to insufficient firm dynamism rather than excessive job destruction.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Microfinance,Small Scale Enterprise,Labor Policies,Science Education
    Date: 2014–10–01
  6. By: Florian Umlauf (University of Bremen)
    Abstract: The granting of publicly subsidized joint projects has become a popular policy instrument in Germany and other developed countries. However, little is known about how an emerging subsidization network affects the overall allocation process of further project grants. Employing a database that contains all funded R and D projects of the German federal government, this paper analyzes the extent to which the funding network tends to reproduce itself. The results of an empirical model show that participation within a collaborative project does not raise, per se, the chance of an enterprise obtaining another project grant. Rather, it is important to hold central positions within the network or have access to a diverse external knowledge base to receive anew project grant.
    Keywords: R&D subsidies, project allocation, network determinants, cooperation, R and D
    JEL: H32 L53 L60 O38
    Date: 2014–10–08
  7. By: Randall S. Jones; Myungkyoo Kim
    Abstract: The Korean government has made fostering a “creative economy” a top priority. The goal is to shift Korea's economic paradigm to one based on innovation in which new start-ups and venture businesses play a key role. However, the venture capital market is still at an early stage of development. To make venture investment a growth driver, it is important to expand the role of business angels, activate the merger-andacquisition market and foster entrepreneurship. A creative economy also depends on making SMEs, which account for 87% of employment, more dynamic. The productivity gap between large firms and SMEs, which benefit from a wide range of public support, is widening. SME policies should be streamlined and improved to promote market-based financing and reduce the negative effects of government funding programmes, which discourage the expansion of SMEs. Promouvoir le financement des PME et des jeunes entreprises en Corée Le gouvernement coréen a érigé en priorité la promotion d'une « économie créative ». L'objectif est que la Corée adopte un nouveau paradigme économique fondé sur l'innovation, suivant lequel les jeunes entreprises et les entreprises à risque joueraient un rôle clé. Le marché du capital-risque est cependant encore à un stade précoce de son développement. Pour que l’investissement en capital-risque soit vecteur de croissance, il est primordial de renforcer le rôle des investisseurs providentiels, de développer le marché des fusions-acquisitions et de favoriser l’entrepreneuriat. Une économie créatrice est aussi une économie qui dynamise les PME, lesquelles représentent 87 % de l’emploi. L'écart de productivité entre les grandes entreprises et les PME, qui bénéficient d'un large éventail d'aides publiques, se creuse. Les politiques en faveur des PME doivent être rationnalisées et optimisées pour promouvoir les financements de marché et atténuer l’impact négatif des aides publiques, qui n’incitent pas les PME à se développer.
    Keywords: Korea, entrepreneurship, venture business, SMEs, start-ups, crowd-funding, mergers and acquisitions, KONEX, credit guarantees, venture capital investment, business angels, creative economy, KOSDAQ, non-tangible collateral, IPOs, KOSDAQ, KONEX, investissements en capital-risque, investisseurs providentiels, Corée, économie créative, garanties de crédit, introductions en bourse, garantie non tangible, financement participatif, jeunes entreprises, fusion et acquisition, entrepreneuriat, entreprises à risque
    JEL: L25 L26 M13
    Date: 2014–09–16
  8. By: Bettina Blasini (Engineering Department - University of Cambridge); Rani Jeanne Dang (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS), IIE - Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Université de Gothenburg, Suède - Université de Gothenburg, Suède); Tim Minshall (Engineering Department - University of Cambridge); Letizia Mortara (Engineering Department - University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Innovation clusters continue to be an important focus of economic development policies in many nations. Leading innovation clusters demonstrate that regional concentration strengthens the innovative capability and can lead to successful competitiveness on a global level, as demonstrated by regions such as Silicon Valley (US), Cambridge (UK) and Sophia Antipolis (France). However the successful creation of clusters still presents a challenge to policy makers as efforts to do so regularly fail. The development of innovation clusters has therefore received much academic and policymaker attention. While past research has examined a variety of factors as drivers for clustering effects, the role of communication within the cluster - and, specifically, the role of key individual communicators - in underpinning successful cluster development has received almost no academic attention. In this chapter, we will draw upon the relevant literature to develop a conceptual framework that will underpin research on this important topic by investigating the role of communicators in innovation clusters. Building on communication theories, the framework suggests that there are four influence-levels that shape and impact the role of communications in innovation clusters: the Individual Level, the Organizational Level, the Cluster Level and the Context. The interdisciplinary view on clustering effects contributes valuable insight to both communication studies and cluster theories. The framework developed within this chapter provides a structure to aid future research on the role of communicators within innovation clusters.
    Keywords: Innovation clusters, communications framework, journalist; communicators
    Date: 2013–12–05
  9. By: Rossi, Federica; Fassio,Claudio; Geuna, Aldo (University of Turin)
    Date: 2014–09
  10. By: Ron Boschma
    Abstract: Klepper’s theory of industry clustering based on organizational reproduction and inheritance through spinoffs challenged the Marshallian view on industry clustering. The paper provides an assessment of Klepper’s theoretical and empirical work on industry clustering. We explore how ‘new’ his spinoff theory on industry clustering was, and we investigate the impact of Klepper’s theory on the economic geography community. Klepper’s work has inspired especially very recent literature on regional branching that argues that new industries grow out of and recombine capabilities from local related industries. Finally, the paper discusses what questions on industry location are still left open or in need of more evidence in the context of Klepper’s theory.
    Keywords: Klepper, spinoff dynamics, agglomeration economies, Marshall, industry clustering, evolutionary economic geography
    JEL: B15 B52 O18 R11
    Date: 2014–09

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