nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2016‒01‒03
24 papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Bursting into life: Firm growth and growth persistence by age By Coad, Alex; Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov; Halvarsson, Daniel
  2. Learning Entrepreneurship From Other Entrepreneurs? By Guiso, Luigi; Pistaferri, Luigi; Schivardi, Fabiano
  3. R&D as an Investment in Knowledge Based Capital By Link, Albert; Swann, Christopher
  4. Firm Life Cycle and Real-Activity Based Earnings Management By Nagar, Neerav; Radhakrishnan, Suresh
  5. Corporate Governance Effects on Innovation when both Agency Costs and Asset Specificity Matter By Filippo Belloc; Eleonora laurenza; Maria Alessandra Rossi
  6. Diversity of firm sizes, complexity, and industry structure in the Chinese economy By Heinrich, Torsten; Dai, Shuanping
  7. External “energy” for regional industrial change: attraction and absorption of non-local knowledge for new path development By Trippl , Michaela; Grillitsch , Markus; Isaksen , Arne
  8. Policies to attract R&D-related FDI in Chile: Aligning incentives with local linkages and absorptive capacities By Guimón , José; Chaminade , Cristina; Maggi , Claudio
  9. High-growth firms: Not so vital after all? By Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov; Halvarsson, Daniel; Mihaescu, Oana
  10. An Extended N-player Network Game and Simulation of Four Investment Strategies on a Complex Innovation Network By Zhou, Wen; Koptyug, Nikita; Ye, Shutao; Jia, Yifan; Lu, Xiaolong
  11. Venture Capital Principles in the European ICT Ecosystem: How can they help ICT innovation? By Garry A. Gabison
  12. Matching research and innovation policies in EU countries By Reinhilde Veugelers
  13. The Specialisation of EU Regions in Fast Growing and Key Enabling Technologies By Rinaldo Evangelista; Valentina Meliciani; Antonio Vezzani
  14. Growth in first- and second-generation immigrant firms in Sweden By Efendic, Nedim; Andersson, Fredrik W.; Wennberg, Karl
  15. Dynamic R&D choice and the impact of the firm's financial strength By Peters, Bettina; Roberts, Mark J.; Vuong, Van Anh
  16. Age Features of a Happy Life in Russia and Europe: An Econometric Analysis of Socio-Economic Determinants By Elena Kopnova; Lilia Rodionova
  17. The Impact of Board Internationalization on Earnings Management By Hooghiemstra, Reggy; Hermes, Niels; Oxelheim, Lars; Randøy, Trond
  18. The impact of the global financial crisis on firms'capital structure By Demirguc-Kunt,Asli; Martinez Peria,Maria Soledad; Tressel,Thierry
  19. Understanding Cluster Evolution By Trippl , Michaela; Grillitsch , Markus; Isaksen , Arne; Sinozic , Tanja
  20. The hidden role of women in family firms By Paula Rodríguez-Modroño; Lina Gálvez-Muñoz; Astrid Agenjo-Calderón
  21. User Entrepreneurship: Defining and Identifying Explicit Type of Innovation By Freshwater, David; Wojan, Timothy J.
  22. Innovation activities and learning processes in the crisis. Evidence from Italian export in manufacturing and services By R. Brancati; E. Marrocu; M. Romagnoli; S. Usai
  23. Impact of Incubation on Innovative Firms By José Ignacio Rivero
  24. Do Micro-Entrepreneurship Programs Increase Wage-Work? Evidence from Chile By Claudia Martínez A.; Esteban Puentes; Jaime Ruiz-Tagle

  1. By: Coad, Alex (University of Sussex); Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov (HUI Research and Dalarna University); Halvarsson, Daniel (The Ratio institute)
    Abstract: Is firm growth more persistent for young or old firms? Theory gives us no clear answer, and previous empirical investigations have been hampered by a lack of detailed data on firm age, as well as a non-representative coverage of young firms. We overcome these shortcomings using a rich dataset on all limited liability firms in Sweden during 1997-2010, covering firms of all ages and information on registered start year. We find that sales growth for new ventures is characterized by positive persistence, whereas it quickly turns negative and remains negative as firms get older. It thus seems that the growth paths of older firms are buffeted around by environmental turbulence, and that older firms may have challenges in adapting their strategies to changing market conditions, whereas new firms experience an early burst of sustained growth.
    Keywords: Firm age; growth rate autocorrelation; sales growth; learning-bydoing; minimum efficient scale
    JEL: D22 L25 L26
    Date: 2015–12–23
  2. By: Guiso, Luigi; Pistaferri, Luigi; Schivardi, Fabiano
    Abstract: We document that individuals who grew up in areas with high density of firms are more likely, as adults, to become entrepreneurs, controlling for the density of firms in their current location. Conditional on becoming entrepreneurs, the same individuals are also more likely to be successful entrepreneurs, as measured by business income or firm productivity. Strikingly, firm density at entrepreneur’s young age is more important than current firm density for business performance. These results are not driven by better access to external finance or intergenerational occupation choices. They are instead consistent with entrepreneurial capabilities being at least partly learnable through social contacts. In keeping with this interpretation, we find that entrepreneurs who at the age of 18 lived in areas with a higher firm density tend to adopt better managerial practices (enhancing productivity) later in life.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; learning; spillovers
    JEL: J24 M13 R11
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Link, Albert (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Swann, Christopher (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: It is well documented that knowledge based capital (KBC) is a driver of economic growth and development and that knowledge acquired through scientific research and development (R&D) is one important component of KBC. In this paper we examine the importance of R&D to a firm for exploring new business opportunities using information from the AEGIS database. We find that, among other things, human capital measured in terms of the educational background of the firm’s founders is a positive and statistically significant covariate with the importance of R&D. We conclude the paper with public policy recommendations for enhancing the educational component of the human capital resource base of firms.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; R&D; knowledge based capital; human capital; technology; innovation; AEGIS
    JEL: L25 L26 O31 O33
    Date: 2015–12–22
  4. By: Nagar, Neerav; Radhakrishnan, Suresh
    Abstract: We examine real-activity based earnings management, i.e., cuts in discretionary innovation/marketing spending and overproduction for meeting the earnings benchmark of avoiding losses across firms’ life cycle. We use the cash flow components to classify a firm’s life cycle. We hypothesize and find that firms in the growth and mature stages exhibit real-activity based earnings management to meet earnings target of avoiding losses; but firms in the introductory stage do not. We also hypothesize and find that such real-activity based earnings management to meet the earnings benchmark of avoiding losses is associated with future performance for mature firms, but not so for growth firms. Collectively, our evidence shows the importance of considering firm’s life cycle when examining real-activity based earnings management.
  5. By: Filippo Belloc; Eleonora laurenza; Maria Alessandra Rossi
    Abstract: The paper explores the question whether the relationship between corporate governance and innovation is affected by the extent to which the firm is exposed to agency problems and asset specificity issues. In particular, we argue that different combinations of asset specificity and agency costs are associated to firm age and sector of activity and predict heterogenous effects of ownership concentration on innovation across different types of firms. We use a unique dataset on about 35.000 Italian manufacturing corporations over the 2002-2007 period and run a hurdle model, distinguishing four sub-groups of firms on the basis of their age (greater or lower than 15 years) and of whether they belong to a high technology or low technology sector. We find that the effects of ownership concentration on innovation are coherent with the predictions of so-called "shareholder theory" when agency cost effects dominate over asset specificity effects and that they are coherent with the predictions of so-called "stakeholder theory" when asset specificity effects dominate over agency cost effects. These findings are robust to a number of identification issues, including the possible endogeneity of corporate ownership structures. Our results may allow to make sense of the contradictory findings of the literature on corporate governance and innovation, especially as regards the role played by ownership concentration, and may help policy-makers to define more effective type-specific initiatives to stimulate firm innovation.
    Keywords: corporate governance, innovation, Italian manufacturing sectors, hurdle models
    JEL: C30 G30 L60 O30
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Heinrich, Torsten; Dai, Shuanping
    Abstract: Among the phenomena in economics that are not yet well-understood is the fat-tailed (power-law) distribution of firm sizes in the world´s economies. Different mechanisms suggested in the literature to explain this distribution of firm sizes are discussed in the present paper. The paper uses the China Industrial Enterprises Database to study the distribution (firm size in terms of the number of employees, capital, and gross profit) for the provinces of China for the years 1998-2008. We estimate the power-law distribution and confirm its plausibility using the KS test and the log-likelihood ratio vs. lognormal and exponential distributions. The analysis on regional levels allows an assessment of regional effects on differences in the distribution; we discuss possible explanations for the observed patterns in the light of the recent regional economic development in the PRC.
    Keywords: firm size distribution,evolutionary industry dynamics,power-law distribution,China
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Trippl , Michaela (CIRCLE, Lund University); Grillitsch , Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Isaksen , Arne (Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, Norway)
    Abstract: The role of exogenous sources of new path development has been underplayed in the literature on regional industrial change so far. The aim of this paper is to explore in a conceptual way under which conditions and in what ways non-local knowledge can lead to new path development in different regional innovation systems (RIS). We distinguish between organizationally thick and diversified, thick and specialized and thin RIS and argue that these types vary markedly in their needs for exogenous sources as well as in their capacities to attract and absorb knowledge generated elsewhere. Organisationally thick and diversified RIS have a lower need for exogenous sources but they exhibit strong capacities to attract and absorb non-local knowledge. In contrast, organisationally thick and specialised RIS and organisationally thin RIS have a higher need for exogenous sources but show a lower capacity to attract and absorb knowledge from elsewhere. However, a closer look reveals that these RIS types can increase their attractiveness for non-local knowledge and may benefit from its inflow if they strengthen their absorption capacity. We conclude that new regional industrial path development is less endogenous in nature than commonly thought, and that the attraction and absorption of non-local knowledge should be more included in conceptualisations of new path development.
    Keywords: new path development; regional industrial change; non-local knowledge; regional innovation systems; degree of organizational thickness; specialization; diversity
    JEL: O10 O19 O30 R10
    Date: 2015–12–21
  8. By: Guimón , José (Department of Development Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Chaminade , Cristina (CIRCLE, Lund University); Maggi , Claudio (Gerencia de Desarrollo Competitivo, CORFO, Santiago, Chile)
    Abstract: Over the last decade we have witnessed an unprecedented growth in the number of cross-border R&D investments towards developing countries. Large emerging economies like China or India have become the first destination of R&D-related investments in the world. Latin America, however, has played a rather marginal role as recipient of R&D-related FDI – barely 3.7% of the world total between 2003 and 2013. In an effort to revert this trend, several countries in the region have launched new policy programs and incentives to enhance their attractiveness for R&D-related FDI. However, it remains uncertain whether public incentives can compensate for other locational disadvantages that characterize Latin American innovation systems. The case of Chile provides an interesting empirical setting to explore these issues, because since the early 2000s its government is actively promoting R&D-related FDI through a new policy mix. This policy mix encompasses various grants and tax incentives, targeting not only multinational corporations but also foreign start-ups, universities and public research institutes. Rather than limiting the scope of our analysis to individual policy instruments, we also consider the complementarities and synergies among them. We emphasize that for national innovation systems to benefit from R&D-related FDI it is important to ensure that appropriate linkages are established with local actors that hold absorptive capacities. Equally important for a small emerging economy like Chile is to prioritize R&D-related FDI in strategic technology areas where the country can realistically attain critical mass to compete globally.
    Keywords: FDI; technology; R&D; innovation policy; development; globalization
    JEL: E61 F21 O38
    Date: 2015–12–21
  9. By: Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov (HUI Research and Dalarna University); Halvarsson, Daniel (The Ratio Institute); Mihaescu, Oana (HUI Research and Dalarna University)
    Abstract: High-growth firms have received considerable interest recently since they create most of the new jobs in the economy. The purpose of our paper is to investigate the characteristics of high-growth firms prior to their growth period, and whether these characteristics differ across industries. Using data on a large sample of limited liability firms in Sweden for the period 2007-2010, we find that high-growth firms do not have the characteristics that we typically associate with successful firms. On the contrary, our results indicate that high-growth firms have low profits and a weak financial position. This might explain why studies have found that high-growth firms are seldom capable of sustaining their high growth rates in subsequent periods, and thus question policies that are targeted towards these companies.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Firm growth; Gazelles; High-growth firms; High-impact firms; Innovation
    JEL: L11 L25
    Date: 2015–12–23
  10. By: Zhou, Wen (School of Computer Engineering and Science); Koptyug, Nikita (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Ye, Shutao (School of Computer Engineering and Science); Jia, Yifan (School of Computer Engineering and Science); Lu, Xiaolong (School of Computer Engineering and Science)
    Abstract: As computer science and complex network theory develop, non-cooperative games and their formation and application on complex networks have been important research topics. In the inter-firm innovation network, it is a typical game behavior for firms to invest in their alliance partners. Accounting for the possibility that firms can be resource constrained, this paper analyzes a coordination game using the Nash bargaining solution as allocation rules between firms in an inter-firm innovation network. We build an extended inter-firm n-player game based on nonidealized conditions, describe four investment strategies and simulate the strategies on an inter-firm innovation network in order to compare their performance. By analyzing the results of our experiments, we find that our proposed greedy strategy is the best-performing in most situations. We hope this study provides a theoretical insight into how firms make investment decisions.
    Keywords: Complex Networks; Game Theory; Innovation; Innovation Network; Nash Equilibrium
    JEL: C72 C81 C82 D81 L14
    Date: 2015–12–15
  11. By: Garry A. Gabison (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report looks at venture capital (VC) funds, their characteristics, and functioning. It specifically focuses on the relationship between VCs and innovation, investigating whether VC funds encourage innovative companies to innovate or whether they successfully predict which companies will innovate more. The report also focuses on the selection process at micro-level. VC funds invest in young and innovative companies and decide where to invest based on imperfect information and signals. The ICT industry has a number of young innovative companies and unsurprisingly VC funds have concentrated their efforts on the ICT industry. In 2013, about 25% of invested funds went into ICT companies even though ICT companies represent less than 6% of all companies. The report then steps back to look at the macro-level. Once they have invested, VC funds use stage financing, monitoring, and exit incentives to re-align their incentives with those of the company receiving the funds. Since they rely on monitoring, VC funds usually prefer to invest in local companies that they can visit regularly. This issue of local investment is seen as a hindrance and EU policymakers have tried to remedy it passing a regulation to facilitate the cross-border funding. The EU has also partly funded the European Investment Fund to further encourage investment and cross-border investment.
    Keywords: venture capital fund, innovation, ICT
    Date: 2015–12
  12. By: Reinhilde Veugelers
    Abstract: Highlights The European Union has prioritised the pursuit of innovation based growth and targeting of resources to promote research and development, but performance on innovation remains weak. With the lack of results comes fatigue, waning interest and mounting criticism about policy. Should the EU abandon its ambition to become the most innovative region in the world? We examine EU member state research and innovation policies. We assess whether the deployment of innovation policy instruments in EU countries matches their innovation capacity performance relative to other EU countries. We find a relative homogeneity of policy mixes in EU countries, despite the fairly wide and stable differences in their innovation capacities. Our analysis therefore provides a rationale for a more comprehensive review of innovation policy mixes to assess their adequacy in addressing country specific innovation challenges.
    Date: 2015–12
  13. By: Rinaldo Evangelista (University of Camerino); Valentina Meliciani (University of LLUIS Carli); Antonio Vezzani (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: In the context of the Europe 2020 objective of establishing in the EU a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, European regions have been called to design and implement national and regional 'Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation' (RIS3). The rationale behind the concept of smart specialisation is that, in a context of global competition for talent and resources, most regions can only acquire a real competitive edge by finding niches or by mainstreaming new technologies into traditional industries and exploiting their ‘smart’ regional potential. Although the most promising way for a region to promote its knowledge-based growth is to diversify into technologies, products and services that are closely related to existing dominant technologies and the regional skills base, the European Commission puts special emphasis on a set of technologies labelled as 'Key Enabling Technologies' (KETs). Despite the great emphasis on KETs, there is only very limited evidence on the capability of EU regions to specialise in these fields and there are no studies directly investigating the actual impact of these technologies on regional innovation and economic growth. This report aims at filling these gaps by: i) looking at the relationship between KETs and 'Fast Growing Technologies' (FGTs); ii) providing empirical evidence on the EU regional specialisation in KETs and FGTs; iii) relating technological specialisation to regional innovation and economic growth. In particular, the report aims at answering these questions: 1) Which technologies have emerged as the fastest growing ones in the recent decades? 2) Is there a relationship between fast growing technologies and KETs? 3) Which regions are specialised in FGTs and KETs? 4) Are there convergence and polarization phenomena observable in the evolution of EU regions’ innovative activities in fast growing technologies and KETs? 5) Do EU regions specialized in fastest growing technological fields and key enabling technologies exhibit higher innovation and economic performances? The main results of the report can be summarised as follows. First, only a small share of KETs are also fast growing technologies, although the degree of overlapping between KETs and FGTs varies substantially across different KETs fields. Second, while KETs are concentrated in Central Europe, FGTs prevail in Scandinavian countries and the UK. Third, while there is evidence of some regional convergence in KETs and, to a less extent, in FGTs, spatial correlation increases over time, showing that diffusion often occurs across contiguous regions. Finally, the results of the estimations of the effects of FGTs and KETs on innovation (patents) and economic (GDP per capita) growth show that only specialisation in KETs directly affects economic growth, while specialisation in FGTs has an impact on growth only indirectly, that is through its impact on regions’ innovation performances. Overall, these results confirm the pervasive and enabling role of KETs pointing to the importance for European regions to target these technologies as part of their RIS3 strategies.
    Keywords: region, gorwht, innovation
    Date: 2015–11
  14. By: Efendic, Nedim (Stockholm School of Economics); Andersson, Fredrik W. (Statistics Sweden); Wennberg, Karl (Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS) & Department of Management and Engineering Linköping University, Sweden and Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: Despite the burgeoning literature on immigrant entrepreneurship, there is a dearth of research on the social and economic factors shaping the performance of immigrant-run firms. Drawing upon human and social capital theory and assimilation theory, we investigate differences in performance measured as revenue growth in a comparative study of native and immigrant CEOs. Following 50,002 small firms in Sweden over four years, we find distinct patterns in both firm size and revenue growth between firms managed by immigrants and by natives. While firms run by second-generation immigrants from OECD countries exhibit higher growth rates than natives, the reverse is true for second generation immigrants from non-OECD countries, suggesting that economic integration in terms of immigrants’ small business growth in Sweden is characterized by segmented rather than universal assimilation.
    Keywords: Immigrant entrepreneurship; intergenerational differences; firm growth; Sweden
    JEL: J61 M13 O18
    Date: 2015–12–23
  15. By: Peters, Bettina; Roberts, Mark J.; Vuong, Van Anh
    Abstract: This article investigates how a firm's financial strength affcts its dynamic decision to invest in R&D. We estimate a dynamic model of R&D choice using data for German firms in high-tech manufacturing industries. The model incorporates a measure of the firm's financial strength, derived from its credit rating, which is shown to lead to substantial differences in estimates of the costs and expected long-run benefits from R&D investment. Financially strong firms have a higher probability of generating innovations from their R&D investment, and the innovations have a larger impact on productivity and profits. Averaging across all firms, the long run benefit of investing in R&D equals 6.6 percent of firm value. It ranges from 11.6 percent for firms in a strong financial position to 2.3 percent for firms in a weaker financial position.
    Keywords: R&D choice,Financial strength,Innovation,Productivity,Dynamic structural model
    JEL: O31 O32 G30
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Elena Kopnova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Lilia Rodionova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: A comparative analysis of the age impact on happiness in Russia and European countries was conducted. The European Social Survey data in 2012 for 29 countries were used. On the basis of an ordered logistic regression, a U-shape relationship between age and happiness was obtained for some of the analysed countries. By using cluster analysis, the countries were divided into 3 groups, in which the age effect varies greatly. In the counties of group 1 (for example, Iceland and Norway) happiness did not change at any age or increase smoothly in old age. Group 2 (Germany and France) had a clear U-shaped age-happiness form. Russia and some counties of former Soviet Union: Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia were analysed in group 3, where the level of happiness decreased significantly in old age (over 60). In some countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Sweden) all people were happy, regardless of age and the assumption of age-happiness U-shape relation was not found.The socio-economic determinants of happiness were also analysed in different age groups. Income satisfaction and subjective health were the more significant characteristics.
    Keywords: satisfaction, happiness, econometric modelling, age groups.
    JEL: C35 C38 I31
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Hooghiemstra, Reggy (Faculty of Economics and Business); Hermes, Niels (Faculty of Economics and Business); Oxelheim, Lars (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Randøy, Trond (School of Law and Business)
    Abstract: Prior literature shows that choices regarding board composition are associated with earnings management. We add to this literature by examining the effects of the presence of a foreign board member on earnings management. Using a sample of 3,249 firm-year observations representing 586 non-financial listed Nordic firms during 2001–2008, we find that the presence of a non-Nordic, foreign director is associated with significantly higher levels of earnings management. Moreover, we provide preliminary evidence that differences in accounting knowledge drive this effect. Our results suggest that it may not necessarily be beneficial to appoint a foreign director to the board.
    Keywords: Earnings management; Board composition; Internationalization; Foreign board member; Accounting knowledge
    JEL: G34 M16 M41 M52
    Date: 2015–12–03
  18. By: Demirguc-Kunt,Asli; Martinez Peria,Maria Soledad; Tressel,Thierry
    Abstract: Using a data set covering about 277,000 firms across 79 countries over the period 2004-11, this paper examines the evolution of firms'capital structure during the global financial crisis and its aftermath in 2010-11. The study finds that firm leverage and debt maturity declined in advanced economies and developing countries, even in countries that did not experience a crisis. The deleveraging and maturity reduction were particularly significant for privately held firms, including small and medium enterprises. For small and medium-size enterprises, these effects were larger in countries with less efficient legal systems, weaker information-sharing mechanisms, shallower banking systems, and more restrictions on bank entry. In contrast, there is weaker evidence of a significant decline of leverage and debt maturity among firms listed on a stock exchange, which are typically much larger than other firms and likely benefit from the"spare tire"of easier access to capital market financing.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Economic Theory&Research,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress,Debt Markets,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2015–12–21
  19. By: Trippl , Michaela (CIRCLE, Lund University); Grillitsch , Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Isaksen , Arne (Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, Norway); Sinozic , Tanja (Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)
    Abstract: The past few years have seen an increasing popularity of cluster life cycle approaches. These models, however, suggest a rather deterministic view, are indifferent with respect to context and suffer from biological connotations. This chapter intends to go beyond the cluster life cycle models. We review the literature on industrial districts, innovative milieu and regional innovation systems and investigate how these alternative approaches contribute to the development of a more context-sensitive approach to cluster change. We argue that future research may benefit from developing theoretically relevant categorizations of different cluster types and from carrying out comparative empirical studies.
    Keywords: cluster evolution; cluster life cycle; regional industrial change; regional innovation systems
    JEL: O10 O30 R10 R50
    Date: 2015–12–21
  20. By: Paula Rodríguez-Modroño (Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Lina Gálvez-Muñoz (Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Astrid Agenjo-Calderón (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Women have historically played an important hidden role in family firms, and a great deal of research is now shedding light on this role. In spite of the more formal nature of their work in the present day, still a considerable volume of women’s contributions remains invisible to official statistics. This study, based on interviews with over 500 women in small and medium family firms, brings this informal work into view, quantifying it in terms of hours worked and monetary value, exploring the reasons for its informality and examining the risks and precariousness it entails.
    Keywords: North-South, growth model, innovation assimilation
    JEL: D13 J16 M20 N80
    Date: 2015–11
  21. By: Freshwater, David; Wojan, Timothy J.
    Abstract: Innovation is widely recognized as a key driver of economic growth, but innovation is now mainly measured by patent statistics and seen as reflecting earlier investments in formal innovation systems that produce new products an new technologies. A consequence of this approach to describing the innovation process is that there is little role for entrepreneurs and in particular little chance of innovation taking place in rural regions. Yet prior to the 20th century most innovation came from individual entrepreneurs and many innovations originated in rural regions. In particular one form of innovation - user-innovation, where individuals or single firms when confronted with a significant problem that has no acceptable existing solution create their own innovation, is particularly relevant to rural regions. While most rural innovations serve local or niche markets there are examples of major rural innovations that have had disruptive national or global impacts. Preliminary results from the new USDA Rural Establishment Innovation Survey confirm that user innovation is an important aspect of many rural entrepreneurs and an important aspect of firm competiveness.
    Keywords: rural innovation, rural development, entrepreneurship, innovation models, regional growth, Community/Rural/Urban Development, O31, R58, D21, N10,
    Date: 2014–12–08
  22. By: R. Brancati; E. Marrocu; M. Romagnoli; S. Usai
    Abstract: Are there any factors driving firms’ internationalization process other than productivity? By means of a firm-level dataset on manufacturing and production services sectors collected by MET, this paper investigates the export performance of enterprises in Italy in the aftermath of the recent economic crisis. Our results suggest that productivity is not the only (and most important) determinant in this matter. Innovation activity and learning processes are indeed pivotal in boosting enterprises to sell their products abroad and, to a certain extent, in backing their success on foreign markets. In particular, by estimating dynamic probability models as well as Tobit II-Heckman and two-part models, we provide evidence that firm’s ability to learn from its past export experiences lowers international trade informal barriers, while its ability to learn thanks to regional and local industry spillovers is important in terms of both extensive and intensive performances on foreign markets.
    Keywords: international trade, inter-regional trade, innovation, regional/industrial spillovers, dynamic binary models, Tobit II models, two-part models
    JEL: C23 C25 F14 O3
    Date: 2015
  23. By: José Ignacio Rivero (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This paper measures the impact of incubation on new and innovative Uruguayan firms’performance. Technological innovation has a fundamental role in explaining economic growth and broader economic development. With this in mind, the fact that new and innovative firms face larger difficulties when trying to validate their innovations becomes a policy concern. One of the answers given to this problem is incubation, which attempts to place this particular sort of companies in a “secure” environment until they are able to survive on their own. The evaluation was restricted to firms housed at a particular incubator called Ingenio, which is one of the largest and oldest operating in Uruguay. It was carried out using a unique panel of data gathered from the incubator and through a survey of current and former incubatees and of rejected candidates. In order to control for potential correlation between the outcome and firms’ observed and unobserved traits a sharp regression discontinuity design was employed, exploiting the incubator’s selection process. Evidence showed timid support for the hypothesis that incubation has a positive impact on firms’ sales and employment, while no impact was detected on their exports. One of the possible explanations for the small impacts detected is that small sample size may have biased the estimates downwards. Therefore it can be affirmed that, at the very least, incubation did not hamper these companies’ performance.
    Keywords: incubation, sharp regression discontinuity, impact evaluation.
    JEL: M13 O2 O31 O32 O38
    Date: 2015–04
  24. By: Claudia Martínez A.; Esteban Puentes; Jaime Ruiz-Tagle
    Abstract: Using a randomized controlled trial of a large-scale, publicly run micro-entrepreneurship program in Chile, we assess the effectiveness of business training and asset transfers to the poor. Using survey and monthly administrative data we study the effects of the program over a period of 46 months. We find that the program significantly increases employment by 15.3 and 6.8 percentages points 9 and 33 months after implementation, respectively. There is also a significant increase in labor income. The employment increase in the short run is through self-employment, while in the long run wage work also increases. In the long run, total labor increases mostly due to an increase in wage income. This is consistent with the hypothesis that skills taught during the training lessons are also useful for wage work. We also find that the quality of the intervention matter, especially in the long run. Finally, comparing two levels of asset transfers, different employment paths emerge: those who receive a low level of transfers mostly end up with salaried work whereas those who receive a high level of transfers tend to be self-employed.
    JEL: J14 O12 L26 M53
    Date: 2015

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