nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2020‒06‒15
24 papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. The growing digital divide in Europe and the United States By Désirée Rückert; Reinhilde Veugelers; Christoph Weiss
  2. Financial Distancing: How Venture Capital Follows the Economy Down and Curtails Innovation By Sabrina T. Howell; Josh Lerner; Ramana Nanda; Richard R. Townsend
  3. Innovative Management of a University By Zbigniew Makie?a; Katarzyna Szczepa?ska-Woszczyna; Magdalena Makie?a
  4. Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Energy Sector By David Popp; Jacquelyn Pless; Ivan Haščič; Nick Johnstone
  5. Determinants of firm investment: Evidence from Slovenian firm-level data By Lenarčič, Črt; Papadopoulos, Georgios
  6. The COVID-19 Shock and Equity Shortfall: Firm-level Evidence from Italy By Elena Carletti; Tommaso Oliviero; Marco Pagano; Loriana Pelizzon; Marti G. Subrahmanyam
  7. The Geography of Small Business Dynamics By Simon Firestone
  8. Regional patterns of unrelated technological diversification: the role of academic inventors. By Quatraro, Francesco; Scandura, Alessandra
  9. CEO Succession and New-Firm Performance: Does Successor Origin Matter? By Masatoshi Kato; Yuji Honjo
  10. Innovation Activities in Prewar Japan: Patent Bibliographic Information Database (Japanese) By INOUE Hiroyasu; OKAZAKI Tetsuji; SAITO Yukiko; NAKAJIMA Kentaro
  11. Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Firm Dynamics By Stefano Fasani; Haroon Mumtaz; Lorenza Rossi
  12. Non-practicing entities and transparency in patent ownership in Europe By Valerio Sterzi; Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar; Johannes Van Der Pol
  13. A bibliometric study on the research landscape of entrepreneurial finance from 1970-2019 By Hoàng, NGUYỄN Minh; Huyen, Nguyen Thanh Thanh; Pham, Thanh-Hang; Yen, Nguyen Thi Quynh; Vuong, Quan-Hoang
  14. Launching with a Parachute: The Gig Economy and New Business Formation By John M. Barrios; Yael V. Hochberg; Hanyi Yi
  15. Environmental Disclosures Effect on Cost of Capital Structure Financing of the Nigerian Listed Companies By Magaji Abba; Muhammad Auwal Kabir; Abdulkadir Abubakar
  16. An Empirical Investigation of Cash Conversion Cycle of Manufacturing Firms and its Association with Firm Size and Profitability By Nusrat Jahan
  17. Is there a link between firms? export activity and economic performance in a Small Open Economy? Evidence from Greece By Maria Kalogera; Antonios Georgopoulos; Panagiota Boura
  18. Financial Frictions, Borrowing Costs, and Firm Size Across Sectors By Bento, Pedro; Ranasinghe, Ashantha
  19. (Tentative) Proposal of Classification Items for Support Support Services for the IP Support Desk, which Could Be the Basis of EBPM in Measures Supporting Intellectual Property Utilization by SMEs (Japanese) By KOBAYASHI Toru
  20. Firms’ Performance and Exports: The Case of Romanian Winemakers By Camélia TURCU; Mihai MUTASCU; Albert LESSOUA
  21. Confidence, financial literacy and investment in risky assets: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances By Andrej Cupak; Pirmin Fessler; Joanne W. Hsu; Piotr R. Paradowski
  22. Firm Acquisitions by Family Firms: a Mixed Gamble Approach By Katrin Hussinger; Abdul-Basit Issah
  23. The role of tax system complexity on foreign direct investment allocation By Leonzio Rizzo; Alejandro Esteller - Moré; Riccardo Secomandi
  24. How to articulate beyond GDP and businesses’ social and environmental indicators? By Olivier E. Malay

  1. By: Désirée Rückert; Reinhilde Veugelers; Christoph Weiss
    Abstract: Using a new survey on digitalisation activities of firms in the EU and the US, we identify digitalisation profiles based on the current use of digital technologies and future investment plans in digitalisation. Our analysis confirms the trend toward digital polarisation and a growing digital divide in the corporate landscape with, on one side, many firms that are not digitally active, and on the other side, a substantial number of digitally active firms forging ahead. Old small firms, with less than 50 employees and more than 10 years old, are significantly more likely to be persistently digitally non-active. We show that these persistently non-digital firms are less likely to be innovative, increase employment or command higher mark-ups. These trends are likely to exacerbate the digital divide across firms in the EU and the US.
    Keywords: digital technology, investment, firm performance
    Date: 2020–05–18
  2. By: Sabrina T. Howell; Josh Lerner; Ramana Nanda; Richard R. Townsend
    Abstract: Although late-stage venture capital (VC) activity did not change dramatically in the first two months after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., early-stage VC activity declined by 38%. The particular sensitivity of early-stage VC investment to market conditions—which we show to be common across recessions spanning four decades from 1976 to 2017—raises questions about the pro-cyclicality of VC and its implications for innovation, especially in light of the common narrative that VC is relatively insulated from public markets. We find that the implications for innovation are not benign: innovation conducted by VC-backed firms in recessions is less highly cited, less original, less general, and less closely related to fundamental science. These effects are more pronounced for startups financed by early-stage venture funds. Given the important role that VC plays in financing breakthrough innovations in the economy, our findings have implications for the broader discussion on the nature of innovation across business cycles
    JEL: G24 O31
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Zbigniew Makie?a (Institute of Economics, Finance and Management, Jagiellonian University); Katarzyna Szczepa?ska-Woszczyna (WSB University, D?browa Górnicza); Magdalena Makie?a (Kancelaria Adwokacka, Kraków)
    Abstract: The transformation of universities from the classic model to the entrepreneurial university and later to the innovative university is the stimulator for the creation of a knowledge society providing the foundation for an economy based on knowledge. This process is the effect of internal disputes running between traditionalists and pragmatists at universities. Among the traditionalists there is a conviction that knowledge is of a theoretical dimension that comes down to the value of discovery, retention and conveyance of knowledge in its own right. The aim of the herein paper is to conduct an analysis of the process of innovative management of a university, while also to define the innovative features of a university and the principles of management of a university of the third generation.The effect of the pilot research conducted is the proposal of the model of the university of the third generation, whose development is generated by constant innovation, cooperation with the economy, while also social partners and civic society.
    Keywords: Management of university, Innovative university, Knowledge university, Network cooperation
    JEL: M10 M19 I25
    Date: 2020–02
  4. By: David Popp; Jacquelyn Pless; Ivan Haščič; Nick Johnstone
    Abstract: Historically, innovation in the energy sector proceeded slowly and entrepreneurial start-up firms played a relatively minor role. We argue that this may be changing. Energy markets are going through a period of profound structural change. The rise of hydrofracturing lowered fossil fuel prices so much that natural gas is now the primary fuel for electricity generation in the US. Renewable energy technologies also experienced significant cost and performance improvements. However, integrating intermittent resources creates additional grid management challenges, requiring further innovation. This chapter documents the evolving roles of innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy sector. First, we provide an overview of the energy industry, highlighting that many new energy technologies are smaller, modular, and increasingly rely on innovation in other fast-moving high-tech sectors. We then conduct two descriptive data analyses that document a sharp decline in both clean energy patenting and start-up activity from about 2010 onwards. We discuss potential explanations and provide some evidence that while innovation in existing technologies may simply have been successful, continued innovation will be needed in enabling technologies that are more likely to depend on progress in other sectors.
    JEL: O31 Q4 Q42 Q55
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Lenarčič, Črt; Papadopoulos, Georgios
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of corporate balance sheet positions in determining Slovenian firms' investment behaviour. The analysis is based on the theoretical framework of the financial accelerator which suggests that firms' financial positions influence their real behaviour. The underlying hypotheses of the financial accelerator are tested, namely its asymmetric effect during crises and in respect to firms' size. In addition, the existence of differences in the relationship between the balance sheet variables and investment across various sectors is examined. The results indicate that indeed balance sheet strength is an important determinant of Slovenian firms' investment behaviour. Moreover, this relationship is affected by a firm's size but the effect of the crisis or its sectoral specialization do not seem to materially affect it.
    Keywords: Firm investment; financial accelerator; firm-level data
    JEL: C33 D22 E22
    Date: 2020–04–18
  6. By: Elena Carletti (Università Bocconi and CEPR); Tommaso Oliviero (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Marco Pagano (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and EEIF); Loriana Pelizzon (SAFE, Goethe University Frankfurt and Università di Venezia Ca' Foscari); Marti G. Subrahmanyam (Stern School of Business, New York University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the drop in profits and the equity shortfall triggered by the COVID-19 shock and the subsequent lockdown, using a representative sample of 80,972 Italian firms. We find that a 3-month lockdown entails an aggregate yearly drop in profits of €170 billion, with an implied equity erosion of €117 billion for the whole sample, and €31 billion for firms that became distressed, i.e., ended up with negative book value after the shock. As a consequence of these losses, about 17% of the sample firms, whose employees account for 8.8% of total employment in the sample (about 800 thousand employees), become distressed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are affected disproportionately, with 18.1% of small firms, and 14.3% of medium-sized ones becoming distressed, against 6.4% of large firms. The equity shortfall and the extent of distress are concentrated in the Manufacturing and Wholesale Trading sectors and in the North of Italy. Since many firms predicted to become distressed due to the shock had fragile balance sheets even prior to the COVID-19 shock, restoring their equity to their pre-crisis levels may not suffice to ensure their long-term solvency.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemics, losses, distress, equity, recapitalization.
    JEL: G01 G32 G33
    Date: 2020–05–28
  7. By: Simon Firestone
    Abstract: Business dynamism is a micro-foundation for economic growth. Productivity gains come from a reallocation of resources from less efficient to more efficient firms, often through entry of new firms and exit of existing firms.
    Date: 2020–05–28
  8. By: Quatraro, Francesco; Scandura, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the involvement of academic inventors in local innovation dynamics and the patterns of regional technological diversification. Based on the combination of the evolutionary economic approach and the theories on regional innovation capabilities, and on the distinctive features of academic inventors, we hypothesise that knowledge spillovers accruing from the participation of university scientists to local patenting activity influence the extent of regional technological diversification. In addition, we posit that the involvement of academic inventors mitigates the path dependency engendered by the constraining role of the existing capabilities. The empirical results highlight the key role of academic institutions for the development of regional technological trajectories while contributing to the academic and policy debate on regional diversification strategies.
    Date: 2020–05
  9. By: Masatoshi Kato (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University); Yuji Honjo (Faculty of Commerce, Chuo University)
    Abstract: This study explores the impact of chief executive officer (CEO) succession on new-firm performance, using a sample of Japanese firms founded during the period 2003–2010. When controlling for firm- and CEO-specific characteristics, we find that new firms with experience in CEO succession are more likely to increase sales than those without it. The results also reveal that CEO succession influences sales growth among new firms, but not employment growth. Moreover, based on successor origin, we classify the types of CEO succession, such as inside, outside, and family succession. The results reveal that both insider and outsider succession influences sales growth, while family succession does not.
    Keywords: CEO succession; Growth; Insider succession; Outsider succession; New firm; Successor origin.
    JEL: M13 L25
    Date: 2020–05
  10. By: INOUE Hiroyasu; OKAZAKI Tetsuji; SAITO Yukiko; NAKAJIMA Kentaro
    Abstract: Using patent information to understand the role of innovation in the process of industrialization in Japan, we examined paper documents and constructed a patent bibliographic information database from 1910 to 1945, which mainly consists of the prewar period. In this paper, we report the database construction method and the descriptive analysis using the database, especially from the viewpoint of the geographical distribution and collaboration pattern of innovation activities. We find the following results. First, patent applications are already concentrated in metropolitan areas, especially in Tokyo, from 1910. Second, patents categorized to technology class with higher technology tend to be more concentrated. While the number of collaborating patents are smaller compared to current numbers in 2020, the average number of collaborators increased from 1.1 to 1.5 during this period. The average number of collaborators for patents filed by foreigners is also lager and also increased during this period.
    Date: 2020–04
  11. By: Stefano Fasani (Queen Mary University London); Haroon Mumtaz (Queen Mary University London); Lorenza Rossi (University of Pavia)
    Abstract: This paper uses a FAVAR model with external instruments to show that the policy uncertainty shocks are recessionary and are associated with an increase in the exit of firms and a decrease in entry and in the stock price with total factor productivity rising in the medium run. To explain this result, we build scale DSGE module featuring firm heterogeneity and endogenous firm entry and exit. These features are crucial in matching the empirical responses. Versions of the model with constant firms or constant firms' exit are unable to re-produce the FAVAR response of firm' entry and exit and suggest a much smaller effect of this shock on real activity.
    Keywords: Monetary policy uncertainty shocks, FAVAR, DSGE
    JEL: C5 E1 E5 E6
    Date: 2020–05–15
  12. By: Valerio Sterzi; Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar; Johannes Van Der Pol
    Abstract: Non-practising entities (NPEs) file or buy patents from a variety of sources and employ them primarily to obtain license fees by asserting them against accused infringers, without any intention of using the invention they protect. This report gives unique insight into how NPEs game Europe’s patent system for profit. The report also provides further evidence that the problem of NPEs is migrating to Europe from the US, and it proposes policy responses to increase patent ownership transparency. The report is largely based on forensic original research into two cases. These cases point to a serious lack of transparency in patent and corporate ownership. They demonstrate how shell or dormant companies, often of unknown ownership and commonly established in the UK, are used to acquire European patents, and how these companies exploit those patents in courts in the European Union – especially Germany. The report also shows that due to the lack of transparency of patent ownership, the problem of NPEs gaming the system is almost certainly far worse than the report states.
    Keywords: Non-practicing entities; Patent trolls; Patent litigation; Patent ownership transparency
    JEL: O31 O34 D23
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Hoàng, NGUYỄN Minh; Huyen, Nguyen Thanh Thanh; Pham, Thanh-Hang; Yen, Nguyen Thi Quynh; Vuong, Quan-Hoang
    Abstract: Financing issues play essential roles in the survival and development of entrepreneurial firms. The current study, employing the bibliometric analysis of 6,903 articles from 1970 to 2019, extracted from Web of Science database, aims to provide an overview of the discipline’s landscape and major scientific domains to facilitate scientific development within the field. Entrepreneurial finance is a young and growing field with exponential growth in the number of publications (with 19.54% per year) and rising collaboration tendency among authors. Journal of Business Venturing is the most prestigious journal, while Sustainability is noteworthy for its rapid contribution to the field. We also note a sign of Western ideological homogeneity from the collaboration networks and lists of top authors, institutions, and countries. Besides, using keyword co-occurrence analysis, seven major research domains are identified: “venture capital”, “crowdfunding”, “SMEs finance”, “social entrepreneurship finance”, “financial risk”, “microfinance”, and “human-social-financial capital”. Based on these findings, we raise the concern of lacking diversity in entrepreneurial finance research and provide several recommendations for future potential research directions.
    Date: 2020–05–28
  14. By: John M. Barrios; Yael V. Hochberg; Hanyi Yi
    Abstract: The introduction of the gig economy creates opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs to supplement their income in downside states of the world and provides insurance in the form of an income fallback in the event of failure. We present a conceptual framework supporting the notion that the gig economy may serve as an income supplement and as insurance against entrepreneurial-related income volatility, and utilize the arrival of the on-demand, platform-enabled gig economy in the form of the staggered rollout of ridehailing in U.S. cities to examine the effect of the arrival of the gig economy on new business formation. The introduction of gig opportunities is associated with an increase of ~5% in the number of new business registrations in the local area, and a correspondingly-sized increase in small business lending to newly registered businesses. Internet searches for entrepreneurship-related keywords increase ~7%, lending further credence to the predictions of our conceptual framework. Both the income supplement and insurance channels are empirically supported: the increase in entry is larger in regions with lower average income and higher credit constraints, as well as in locations with higher ex-ante economic uncertainty regarding future wage levels and wage growth.
    JEL: G39 J01 L26 O3
    Date: 2020–05
  15. By: Magaji Abba (Faculty of Management Sciences, A.T.B.U. Bauchi); Muhammad Auwal Kabir (Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Bauchi State University, Gadau); Abdulkadir Abubakar (Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Bauchi State University, Gadau)
    Abstract: The paper examined the relationship between environmental disclosure and cost of capital structure financing of the Nigerian listed companies. This is due to a concern about the environmental behaviour of the companies that result in stakeholders? interest in environmental disclosure. Though the disclosure is voluntary (to a certain extent) its inadequacy creates information asymmetric and risk that affect the cost of capital structure financing. The study was on listed Nigerian companies whose activities have an environmental repercussion. Where the data was gathered from content analysis of the companies? annual reports. A regression analysis based on the pool, 2SLS and 3SLS were made to improve the robustness of the results. It provides evidence in support of companies? stakeholders? engagement through disclosure to manage the cost of capital structure financing. The disclosure level effect on the cost of capital structure will help curtailed negative environmental activities of the companies. However, the sample size is small due to the limited number of publically listed companies in the Nigerian. Additionally, the data is cross-sectional which may not be stable over time and across industries level. Recommend for further study that will look into financial stakeholders? perception about the environmental disclosure and its value relevance in financing decision.
    Keywords: Environmental Disclosure; Information Asymmetric; Disclosure Quality; Cost of Capital Structure Financing; Nigerian Listed Companies
    JEL: M41 Q56 E22
    Date: 2020–02
  16. By: Nusrat Jahan
    Abstract: The purpose of this empirical study is to investigate Cash Conversion Cycle of thirty manufacturing firms listed in Dhaka Stock Exchanges under six different categories, which are, Food and allied, Pharmaceuticals and chemical, Cement, Textile, Engineering and Miscellaneous. This paper sets industry average Cash Conversion Cycle for these six industries and examines the relationship of Cash Conversion Cycle with firm size and profitability. This study did not find statistically significant differences among the Cash Conversion Cycle of varying manufacturing industries. The result of this study indicates a statistically significant negative relationship between the Cash Conversion Cycle and profitability, especially in terms of Return on Equity. The result also shows that the Cash Conversion Cycle of manufacturing firm also has significant negative relationship with firm size, when measured in terms of net sales. The present study contributes to the literature on working capital management written in the context of Bangladesh.
    Date: 2020–05
  17. By: Maria Kalogera (Department of Business Administration, University of Patras); Antonios Georgopoulos (Department of Business Administration, University of Patras); Panagiota Boura (Department of Business Administration, University of Patras)
    Abstract: Even though most of the export benefits inter alia refer to high productivity and profitability, the question is whether these performance indicators have been improved solely as a result of export activity or not. As such, in this study, we investigate whether and to what extent export activity could strengthen overall firm performance in terms of the aforementioned crucial measures, productivity and profitability. Moreover, we attempt to determine the impact of the crisis during the recession when firms seek new ways in order to increase and exploit their competitive advantage through exporting activity. As Greece is a very appealing case study due to the recession, we pooled micro-level data from Greek firms operating in all sectors of economy from 2005 to 2017. After extensive research of the literature, the most widely used financial and non-financial variables have been collected for each firm. By using the GMM model approach, the results indicate that high export intensity might strengthen the productivity and profitability of firms, especially if they are young, large in size and they operate in traditional industry sectors.* This research titled " Is there a link between firms? export activity and economic performance in a Small Open Economy? Evidence from Greece" as a part of the project "The Specification of Export Capacity of Enterprises and the Effects on the economic performance of firms" is implemented through the Operational Program "Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning" and is co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds.
    Keywords: Export performance, Economic growth, Financial measures, Greek financial crisis, Panel data, Productivity, Profitability
    JEL: F23 L25 M21
    Date: 2020–02
  18. By: Bento, Pedro (Texas A&M University); Ranasinghe, Ashantha (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We document new evidence that financial under-development is associated with higher borrowing rates, lower investment in productivity, a smaller share of large firms, and smaller average firm size, both in manufacturing and services. To account for these patterns, we develop a two-sector economy with heterogeneous entrepreneurs that face financial frictions in the form of borrowing rates that rise with the cost of monitoring risky investments. The model is tractable and can be solved analytically, making clear predictions for the impact of high borrowing costs on investment, the share of large firms, and average firm size across sectors, consistent with the evidence we document. Varying monitoring costs to generate observed cross-country differences in borrowing rates, the model can account for one-third of the log-variance of observed average firm size across sectors, over 20 percent of the variation in investment, and a 30 percent drop in aggregate productivity, all substantial relative to the literature.
    Keywords: financial development; borrowing; firm size; investment; aggregate productivity
    JEL: O10 O14 O41 O43
    Date: 2020–05–28
  19. By: KOBAYASHI Toru
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the support cases of the IP Support Desk, which provides one-stop support for intellectual property consultations to SMEs, extracts support services that were evaluated to have been sufficiently useful in practice, and (tentatively) proposes classification items for support services that contribute to an accurate understanding of the users' needs, appropriate verification and evaluation of the effects of support measures. This proposal includes the classification items following the path of "creation," "protection" and "utilization" and the classification items related to basic and general support, which would further be cross-referenced by "patent/utility," "design," "trademark," and again by "domestic business support" and "overseas development support."
    Date: 2020–03
  20. By: Camélia TURCU; Mihai MUTASCU; Albert LESSOUA
    Keywords: , financial performances, exports, panel analysis, Romanian wine industry
    Date: 2020
  21. By: Andrej Cupak (National Bank of Slovakia); Pirmin Fessler; Joanne W. Hsu; Piotr R. Paradowski
    Abstract: We employ recent Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) microdata from the US to analyze the impacts of confidence in one’s own financial knowledge, confidence in the economy, and objective financial literacy on investment in risky financial assets (equity and bonds) on both the extensive and intensive margins. Controlling for a rich set of covariates including risk aversion, we find that objective financial literacy is positively related to investment in risky assets as well as debt securities. Moreover, confidence in own financial skills additionally increases the probability of holding risky assets and bonds. While these relationships are rather robust for the extensive margin, they break down with regard to the conditional share of financial wealth in risky assets of those who actually hold them. The relevance of financial literacy as well as confidence varies considerably with the distribution of wealth as well as across several socio-economic dimensions such as age, education and race.
    Keywords: financial literacy, confidence, risky assets, household finance, survey data, US
    JEL: D12 D14 D31 D91 I20 G11
    Date: 2020–03
  22. By: Katrin Hussinger (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Abdul-Basit Issah (LBG Open Innovation in Science Center, Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: This study elucidates the mixed gamble confronting family firms when considering a related firm acquisition. The socioemotional and financial wealth trade-off associated with related firm acquisitions as well as their long-term horizon turns family firms more likely to undertake a related acquisition than non-family firms, especially when they are performing above their aspiration level. Post-merger performance pattern confirm that family firms are able to create long-term value "through these acquisitions and by doing so they surpass non-family firms. These findings stand in " contrast to commonly used behavioural agency predictions, but can be reconciled with theory through a mixed gambles’ lens.
    Keywords: Firm acquisitions; related firm acquisitions; mixed gamble; aspiration level, socioemotional wealth, value creation
    JEL: G34 L10 L20 M20
    Date: 2019
  23. By: Leonzio Rizzo; Alejandro Esteller - Moré; Riccardo Secomandi
    Abstract: We present new cross-country empirical evidence that tax system complexity affects international investments. The evidence comes from a database of foreign direct investment (FDI) bilateral flows for all OECD countries over the 2013 2016 period. We used the dataset from the Doing Business survey, which collects several measures of tax system complexity and effective tax rates. By means of a gravity model, we considered the impact of destination and parent country characteristics on firm investment decisions. An increase in the difference between tax complexity in the home country and the destination country is related with an increase in FDI outflows from home to destination. We also found that this effect is driven by small countries. We did not observe any impact of tax rate differentials on FDI outflows.
    Keywords: FDI flows; tax complexity; gravity model
    JEL: H32 H29 H25
    Date: 2020–05–29
  24. By: Olivier E. Malay (IRES & Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, University of Louvain (UCLouvain))
    Abstract: In the past decades, new indicators have been developed to provide alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the macro level, and to financial indicators at the business level (businesses’ social and environmental indicators). However, these new indicators are poorly articulated between the business and the macro level. This paper aims to discuss the different possibilities of articulation that exist and outline a framework for a better micro-macro articulation. Firstly, we draw from the example of GDP and traditional business indicators by analysing the way they are articulated. Secondly, we review how sets of alternative indicators aim to articulate the macro and micro level by analysing indicators constructed around Gross National Happiness (GNH) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This research shows that two specific types of articulation exist between indicators at different levels, one referred to as the ‘accounting’ type and the other called the ‘conceptual’ type. Their strengths and limits will be discussed, as well as how they can be combined. Finally, recommendations will be provided on how to best articulate beyond GDP and business level indicators.
    Keywords: Sustainability indicators; Beyond GDP indicators; Business indicators; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Micro macro articulation; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gross National Happiness (GNH)
    JEL: E0 M41 N10 N40 Q56
    Date: 2020–04–01

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