nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2015‒09‒18
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Enhancing Dynamism and Innovation in Japan's Business Sector By Randall S. Jones; Myungkyoo Kim
  2. How do Native and Migrant Workers Contribute to Innovation? A Study on France, Germany and the UK By Claudio Fassio; Fabio Montobbio; Alessandra Venturini
  3. Location Determinants of high Growth Firms By Li, Minghao; Goetz, Stephan J.; Partridge, Mark; Fleming, David A.
  4. Financial constraints and productivity: evidence from euro area companies By Ferrando, Annalisa; Ruggieri, Alessandro
  5. Relatedness through experience: On the importance of collected worker experiences for plant performance By Lisa Östbring, Rikard Eriksson, Urban Lindgren; Rikard Eriksson; Urban Lindgren
  6. Industry Relatedness, Agglomeration Externalities and Firm Survival in China By Canfei He; Qi Guo; David Rigby
  7. Does Foreign Entry Spur Innovation? By Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Jan Svejnar; Katherine Terrell
  8. Le rôle de la syndication des capital-investisseurs dans le financement de l’innovation, The Role of Venture Capitalists Syndication in the Financing of Innovation By Philippe DESBRIERES
  9. Gender bias and credit access By Ongena, Steven; Popov, Alexander
  10. Fresh Brain Power and Quality of Innovation in Cities: Evidence from the Japanese patent database By HAMAGUCHI Nobuaki; KONDO Keisuke
  11. Knowledge Spillovers in Cities: The Creation and Transmission of Knowledge By J. Stiller; D. Assmann
  12. Corruption and bureaucracy in entrepreneurship By Antonio Lecuna
  13. The impact of host-country environment and home-host country distance on the configuration of international service activities By Julien Gooris
  14. The role of geographical proximity in the international knowledge flows of European firms: an overview of different knowledge transfer mechanisms By Chaminade , Cristina; Plechero , Monica
  15. Assessing the financial and financing conditions of firms in Europe: the financial module in CompNet By Ferrando, Annalisa; Altomonte, Carlo; Blank, Sven; Meinen, Philipp; Iudice, Matteo; Felt, Marie-Hélène; Neugebauer, Katja; Siedschlag, Iulia
  16. Entrepreneurial Activities in Europe - Sustaining Inclusive Entrepreneurship By David Halabisky

  1. By: Randall S. Jones; Myungkyoo Kim
    Abstract: Innovation is key to boosting economic growth in the face of a rapidly ageing population. While Japan spends heavily on education and R&D, appropriate framework conditions are essential to increase the return on such investments by strengthening competition, both domestic and international, and improving resource allocation. Upgrading corporate governance would encourage firms to maximise profits and invest their large cash reserves. To promote open innovation in a global framework, it is necessary to improve universities and expand their role in business R&D, while increasing international collaboration in R&D from its current low level. Venture capital-backed firms and start-ups should play a key role in commercialising innovation. To make venture investment a growth driver, it is important to expand the role of business angels and foster entrepreneurship. SMEs, which account for 70% of employment, should contribute more to innovation.
    Keywords: product market regulation, venture capital, Japan, innovation, Abenomics
    JEL: O13 O38 O53
    Date: 2015–09–02
  2. By: Claudio Fassio; Fabio Montobbio; Alessandra Venturini
    Abstract: This paper uses the French and the UK Labour Force Surveys and the German Microcensus to estimate the effects of different components of the labour force on innovation at the sectoral level between 1994 and 2005. The authors focus, in particular, on the contribution of migrant workers. We adopt a production function approach in which we control for the usual determinants of innovations, such as R&D investments, stock of patents and openness to trade. To address possible endogeneity of migrants we implement instrumental variables strategies using both two-stage least squares with external instruments and GMM-SYS with internal ones. In addition we also account for the possible endogeneity of native workers and instrument them accordingly. Our results show that highly-educated migrants have a positive effect on innovation even if the effect is smaller relative to the positive effect of educated natives. Moreover, this positive effect seems to be confined to the high-tech sectors and among highly-educated migrants from other European countries.
    Keywords: innovation, migration, skills, human capital
    JEL: O31 O33 F22 J61
    Date: 2015–07–31
  3. By: Li, Minghao; Goetz, Stephan J.; Partridge, Mark; Fleming, David A.
    Abstract: County-level location patterns of INC5000 companies provide one map of American entrepreneurship and innovativeness, and understanding the local factors associated with these firms' emergence is important for stimulating regional economic growth and innovation. We draw on the knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship to motivate our regression model, and augment this theory with additional regional features that have been found to be important in the firm-location literature. Zero-inflated negative binomial regressions indicate that these firms exist in counties with larger average establishment size, higher educational attainment, and more natural amenities. Income growth, a mix of higher-paying industries, and more banks per capita are associated with a smaller presence of these types of firms, all else equal. We conclude that the local conditions favoring high growth firms are likely to be different from those favoring new firms in general, and that these conditions differ significantly in urban and rural areas and by industrial sectors.
    Keywords: Firm location, Firm revenues, High growth firms, INC5000 firms, Negative Binomial regression
    JEL: L26 R1
    Date: 2015–08–25
  4. By: Ferrando, Annalisa; Ruggieri, Alessandro
    Abstract: In this paper we consider the relation between firms’ financial structure, access to external finance and labor productivity using a large dataset of firm-level data for Euro-area countries during the period 1995-2011. Our empirical strategy is twofold. First we develop an indicator of financial constraints at firm level using a classification based on specific firm characteristics and various measures of financial pressure and liquidity. Second we apply this indicator to a firm-level production equation to assess the direct impact of access to finance to firm-level productivity. We estimate the impact of financial constraints on a measure of labor productivity and we find significant and negative effects in the majority of sectors across countries. The impact appears to be significantly higher in sectors like Energy, Gas and Water Supply and R&D, Communication and Information, for small and micro firms, while it is slightly smaller for firms with positive investment rates. From a cross-country perspective, while Germany and Netherlands are the least one, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal are the most affected by financial constraints, with an estimated loss of around 10% of their average real value added due to limited access to finance. JEL Classification: D24, G32, O16
    Keywords: cross-country, financial constraints, productivity, sectoral analysis, SMEs
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Lisa Östbring, Rikard Eriksson, Urban Lindgren; Rikard Eriksson; Urban Lindgren
    Abstract: The present article aims to show that multiple cognitive dimensions exist between employees in plants and that these multiple forms of potential cognitive relatedness interact in their influence on learning and plant performance. Because the success of a firm has come to be strongly associated with its ability to use the available resources (Penrose 1959), it has become increasingly important for firms to have just the right mix of competences. In the article, the knowledge and cognitive distance between employees in knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) is measured in multiple ways – as formal knowledge, industry experience and past knowledge exposure. The different forms of cognitive distance are entered into pooled OLS regressions with year-, industry-, region-fixed effects and interaction terms to estimate the effects of various forms of cognition on plant performance. The results suggest that past knowledge experiences and formal education offer multiple channels for knowledge integration at the workplace and that the specific labor force knowledge characteristics present at a plant condition learning. It has been further shown that the organizational structure and flexibility associated with single-plant and multi-plant firms, respectively, generate different plant performance outcomes of knowledge variety. Moreover, we conclude that the commonly found negative effects of similarity in formal education on plant performance may be reduced by high levels of similarity in historical knowledge exposure or industry experience. These effects are stronger in multi-plant firms than in single-plant firms. We also find that high levels of human capital exert a reducing influence on the negative effects of high levels of cognitive similarity.
    Keywords: Cognitive proximity, plant performance, KIBS, human capital, proximity dimensions
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Canfei He; Qi Guo; David Rigby
    Abstract: The importance of agglomeration externalities for economic activities is widely recognized. Recent developments highlight the importance of industry relatedness to the performance of firms, industries and regions. This study explores the determinants of firm survival in China and tests the significance of industry relatedness using firm-level data over the period 1999-2007. Industry relatedness is developed from the co-occurrence analysis of paired industries. Results based on Cox regression models show that firms benefiting from industry relatedness and governmental supports are more likely to survive. However, the influence of relatedness varies across industries and provinces. This study highlights the significant influence of local forces on firm dynamics and enriches our understanding of regional industrial restructuring in China.
    Keywords: Industry relatedness, Agglomeration Externalities, Firm Survival, China
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Jan Svejnar; Katherine Terrell
    Abstract: Our estimates, based on large firm-level and industry-level data sets from eighteen countries, suggest that FDI and trade have strong positive spillover effects on product and technology innovation by domestic firms in emerging markets. The FDI effect is more pronounced for firms from advanced economies. Moreover, our results indicate that the spillover effects can be detected with micro data at the firm-level, but that using linkage variables computed from input-output tables at the industry level yields much weaker, and usually insignificant, estimated effects. These patterns are consistent with spillover effects being rather proximate and localized.
    JEL: F2 M16 O16 P23
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Philippe DESBRIERES (IAE DIJON - Université de Bourgogne (CREGO))
    Abstract: (VF) La pratique de la syndication est notablement développée dans le métier du capital-investissement, quel que soit le stade de développement, le secteur d’activité et la nationalité de l’entreprise financée. La syndication s’explique autant par des arguments financiers (partage des risques entre capital-investisseurs ; gouvernance du management de l’entreprise financée...) que par la nécessité d’une part, d’accéder à des ressources (informations, compétences) en matière de sélection et de surveillance des investissements et, d’autre part, de partager, voire créer, des connaissances. L’objectif de cette synthèse de la littérature est d’étudier dans quelle mesure cette pratique favorise ou contraint l’innovation et son financement dans les firmes entrepreneuriales. (VA) Syndication is a highly developed practice in the venture capital industry, whatever are the stage of development, the industry sector and the nationality of the financed company. It can be explained by financial arguments (sharing of risks between venture capitalists; governance of managemers of the financed firm) as well as by the necessity, on the one hand, to reach resources (information, skills) regarding selection and control of the investments and, on the other hand, to share or create knowledge. The objective of this survey is to study to what extent this practice favor or limit innovation and its financing within entrepreneurial firms.
    Keywords: capital-investissement, syndication, innovation, financement;Venture Capital, Syndication, Innovation, Financing
    JEL: G24 L26 O31
    Date: 2015–05
  9. By: Ongena, Steven; Popov, Alexander
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effect of gender bias on access to bank credit. We extract an exogenous measure of gender bias from survey responses by descendants of US immigrants on questions about the role of women in society. We then use data on 6,000 small business firms from 17 countries and find that in countries with higher gender bias, female-owned firms are more frequently discouraged from applying for bank credit and more likely to rely on informal finance. At the same time, loan rejection rates and terms on granted loans do not vary between male and female firm owners. These results are not driven by credit risk differences between female- and male-owned firms or by any idiosyncrasies in the set of countries in our sample. Overall, the evidence suggests that in high-gender bias countries, female entrepreneurs are more likely to opt out of the loan application process, even though banks do not appear to discriminate against females that apply for credit. JEL Classification: G21, J16, N32, Z13
    Keywords: Bank credit, Cultural bias, Female-owned firms, Gender-based discrimination
    Date: 2015–07
  10. By: HAMAGUCHI Nobuaki; KONDO Keisuke
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether freshness of knowledge increases the quality of innovation by using the Japanese patent database. Agglomeration is generally believed to foster the creation of new knowledge through knowledge spillover, such as active face-to-face communication; however, expansion of common knowledge within research communities may discourage high-quality innovation. Taking this into consideration, we attempt to examine the turnover effects of knowledge workers across cities by looking at the interregional migration of university graduates. We find that the quality of innovation as measured by the number of patent citations tends to be higher in cities with bigger migration flows of university graduates. More importantly, we find that metabolizing agglomeration plays an important role for high-quality innovative activities.
    Date: 2015–09
  11. By: J. Stiller; D. Assmann
    Abstract: We analyze knowledge spillovers in a search-theoretic spatial equilibrium framework with workers who are heterogeneous in knowledge type. Knowledge spillovers result from random face-to-face interactions between workers in the city. The outcome of those interactions crucially depends on the combination of the interacting individuals' knowledge types. In contrast to previous work, we explicitly model knowledge spillovers as the interplay of two channels: knowledge transmission (imitation) and knowledge creation (innovation). Our results show that if the role of innovation is sufficiently important, individuals choose an excessively narrow range of partners to interact with, leading to lower than socially optimal creation of new ideas, which results in socially inefficient city sizes.
    Keywords: Agglomeration; Innovation; Knowledge; Learning; Matching
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2015–07–01
  12. By: Antonio Lecuna (School of Business and Economics, Universidad del Desarrollo)
    Abstract: Entrepreneurship has been associated with three categories of factors: (1) macroeconomic factors, such as unemployment and income; (2) factors related to government institutions, such as corruption and political stability; and (3) competitiveness-related factors, such as the capacity for innovation and the number of procedures required to start a business. In this study, I find that all three categories are equally significant and that a combination of these three categories generates the most significant statistical results. The findings also reveal that two specific indicators are consistently more significant than the others. I posit that better control of corruption and a lower unemployment rate are associated with increasing levels of entrepreneurial activity as measured by business registrations and entrepreneur participation rates. Furthermore, interaction tests between the control of corruption and competitiveness-related factors found that simultaneous decreases in corruption and the number of procedures required to start a business provide added value, jointly boosting entrepreneurial activity. Panel data from 55 nations for the 2004–2009 period support these findings.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, institutions, public policy, economic development
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Julien Gooris
    Abstract: In the realm of globalization, international sourcing of services contributes to reshape firm’s value chains as the physical dispersion of these activities increases. This reorganization does not simply lead to the replication of domestic activities in a destination providing resource advantages, but, in most cases, it implies profound modifications of the flows of activities, including the reconsideration of the boundaries of the firm. Global sourcing strategies, also called offshoring, seek to increase firm’s efficiency by combining the exploitation of foreign locational advantages with process redesign. When aggregated, these firm-level strategies translate into considerable international exchanges to a point that flows of intermediate services represent about 73% of the total of international trade in services for 2005 (OECD, 2009). These activities present a high degree of heterogeneity in terms of functions concerned, the related domestic industries, motivations, destinations, organizational structure or scope. This wave of internationalization, because of its relative novelty, growth and rapid diversification, draws the interest from the public, political and academic spheres but the comprehension of the determinants shaping the configuration and organization of these activities still remain largely unknown. Based on four essays, this PhD thesis addresses the impact of host-country characteristics and distance factors on the configuration of international sourcing activities in the dimensions of location, governance model and scope of activities.<p><p>The first paper studies the country-specific determinants of the interdependent choices of destination and governance model in the global sourcing of services. I explore the simultaneity of these decisions and I jointly estimate their determinants using implementation-level data. Derived from comparative advantages, host-country uncertainty and the global dispersion of tasks, I present three classes of factors driving global sourcing configurations: resource arbitrages, host-country risk and communication barriers. Empirical results confirm that locations with resource or capabilities advantages specific to services – low labour cost, education and labour supply – attract more offshoring activities. However the pursued resource advantages differ depending on the governance model. Country attractiveness for captive implementations presents a higher positive sensitivity to the education-intensive resources, while outsourcing strategies have a greater cost-cutting orientation coming from labour cost arbitrages. Furthermore, the risks inherent to the host-country, in the form of weak formal institutions and inexperience in the destination, have the dual effect of deterring location attractiveness, while they foster the adoption of the outsourcing model compared to the captive one. Communication barriers coming from geographic distance, cultural and linguistic differences have the simultaneous effect of discouraging global sourcing in those locations while, to overcome these constraints, firms favor higher integration with the use of captive models. <p><p>This second paper further explores the mechanisms through which home-host country distances affect the choice of governance mode in service offshoring. Using a Transaction Cost Economics approach, I explore the comparative costs of the hierarchical and contractual models to show that different dimensions of distance (geographic, cultural and institutional), because they generate different types of uncertainties, impact offshore governance choices in different ways. Empirical results confirm that, on the one hand, firms are more likely to respond to internal uncertainties resulting from geographic and cultural distance by leveraging the internal controls and collaboration mechanisms of a captive offshore service center. On the other hand, they tend to respond to external uncertainties resulting from institutional distance by limiting their foreign commitment and leveraging the resources and local experience of third party service providers. Finally, I find that the temporal distance component (time zone difference) of geographical dispersion between onshore and offshore countries plays a dominant role over the spatial distance component.<p><p>The third section then concentrates on the impact of the institutional environment (regulative) on international sourcing activities. To exploit country-specific advantages, firms that source activities from abroad are forced to integrate the institutional environment into the choice not only of host-country, but also of governance model for their offshore activities. Considering inefficient institutions as drivers of transaction costs, this conceptual paper explores the impact of the host-country regulative environment in the interdependent decisions of country selection and governance model (captive or outsourcing) in firms’ global sourcing strategies. I consider two classes of assets: transferred assets for knowledge/information flows, and local assets sourced from the host location. I show that each class involves specific institutional risks for offshoring practices. In turn, because of the different institutional exposures of the captive model and the outsourced one, the institutional risks associated with transferred and local assets have different implications for the choice of governance model. Firms react to institutional risks relative to transferred assets by internalizing their activity, but they bypass inefficient institutions for local assets using outsourcing. Based on the interaction of the institutional risks relative to each class of assets, I then obtain sufficient conditions that give the firm-optimal combinations of country selection and governance model.<p><p>The last section studies how firm-level and country-level risks affect the scope of the process operated in the foreign unit. To prevent appropriation hazard for proprietary content, firms choose a particular disaggregation of the value chain. We argue that, in response to the lack of control offered by internalization and the lack of protection provided by host-country institutions for protecting proprietary content, firms reduce the scope of their activities. In other words, they exploit existing complementarities between the tasks of their value chain using a higher disaggregation of their process and therefore reducing appropriation value for outsiders. Based on a sample of 750 international sourcing projects, regression results on the scope of offshore activities confirm that firms prefer to source discrete tasks rather than entire processes when they lack the protection of internalization and external institutions. In addition, experience modifies these relationships. On the one hand, inexperienced firms do not rely on this slicing mechanism to prevent the loss of control implied by an outsourcing model. On the other hand, the effect of weak institutional protection is perceived as more stringent for inexperienced firms. When host-country institutions are deficient, these firms, compared to the experienced ones, have a higher propensity to operate discrete tasks rather than entire processes.<p>
    Keywords: Offshore outsourcing; Business relocation; Impartition à l'étranger; Délocalisations (Economie); cultural distance; institutions; distance; governance mode; location; Service; offshoring; outsourcing; internationalization
    Date: 2013–09–24
  14. By: Chaminade , Cristina (CIRCLE, Lund University); Plechero , Monica (DEAMS – University of Trieste, Italy & CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: The paper provides an overview of the international knowledge flows in Europe particularly looking at the drivers and consequences of such flows as well as the general trend. It distinguishes between different types of mechanisms for the acquisition and transfer of knowledge from trade to research and technological collaboration, mobility of human capital and FDI. The paper is empirical in nature and targeted to a wider audience. The analysis reveals that proximity matters significantly for the mobility of human capital as well as for the establishment of collaborative networks. In both cases, intra-Europe knowledge flows are more important that extra-Europe knowledge flows, thus pointing to the role of the European market facilitating these forms of exchange. The patterns of offshoring of R&D as well as trade networks are rather different- more global than intra-European. In other words, trade and investment networks are more dispersed globally than mobility of human capital and research and technological networks.
    Keywords: Exports of high tech products; international research collaboration; international mobility of researchers; offshoring of R&D; Europe
    JEL: F20 O30
    Date: 2015–09–08
  15. By: Ferrando, Annalisa; Altomonte, Carlo; Blank, Sven; Meinen, Philipp; Iudice, Matteo; Felt, Marie-Hélène; Neugebauer, Katja; Siedschlag, Iulia
    Abstract: This paper provides an encompassing description of the various indicators compiled in the financial module of CompNet using balance sheet information of European firms. We investigate whether and to which extent the heterogeneous financial positions of firms have affected firms’ investment decisions, especially during the recent crisis. Our results confirm the relevance of leverage for investment, in addition to other common determinants, such as cash flow or sales growth. In particular, we find evidence that higher levels of indebtedness act as a drag on investment. We investigate cash holding policies and find significant differences across firm sizes and degrees of financial constraints. Furthermore, our data confirm the pro-cyclicality of firm profitability and its negative association with financial constraints. Finally, we exploit the richness of this new dataset to document the relationships between firms’ financial and financing conditions and their productivity. JEL Classification: D22, D24, D92, G32
    Keywords: firm financing conditions and constraints, firm heterogeneity, productivity
    Date: 2015–08
  16. By: David Halabisky
    Abstract: This policy brief was produced by the OECD and the European Commission on sustaining entrepreneurship activities by entrepreneurs in under-represented and disadvantaged groups. It provides evidence on business survival for entrepreneurs from groups that are under-represented or disadvantaged in the labour market and discusses the obstacles that reduce the chances of survival for these businesses. Policy makers can take action to increase the chances of survival for these businesses, including providing training to boost business management skills, providing coaching and mentoring, facilitating access to finance and provide business development services.
    Date: 2015–04

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