nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2022‒05‒02
sixteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Barriers to university–industry collaboration in an emerging market: firm-level evidence from Turkey By Kleiner-Schaefer, Timo; Schaefer, Kerstin J.
  2. Entrepreneurship in Scotland, 1851–1911 By Smith, Harry; Bennett, Robert J.; Van Lieshout, Carry; Montebruno, Piero
  3. Opposing firm-level responses to the China shock: horizontal competition versus vertical relationships By Aghion, Philippe; Bergeaud, Antonin; Lequien, Matthieu; Melitz, Marc J.; Zuber, Thomas
  4. Robot Adoption and Innovation Activities By Davide Antonioli; Alberto Marzucchi; Francesco Rentocchini; Simone Vannuccini
  5. The potential impact of students’ migrations to small cities in peripheral regions By Fonseca, Madalena
  6. Intangibles and industry concentration: supersize me By Bajgar, Matej; Criscuolo, Chiara; Timmis, Jonathan
  7. Export of Medium and High-Tech Products in Europe By LEOGRANDE, ANGELO
  8. The productive role of social policy By Rodríguez Torres, Omar
  9. Board Diversity and Outward FDI: Evidence from Europe By Valeria Gattai; Piergiovanna Natale; Francesca Rossi
  10. Investment expectations by vulnerable European firms: A difference-in-difference approach By Coad, Alexander; Amaral-Garcia, Sofia; Bauer, Peter; Domnick, Clemens; Harasztosi, Péter; Pál, Rozália; Teruel, Mercedes
  11. Automation and the Workforce: A Firm-Level View from the 2019 Annual Business Survey By Daron Acemoglu; Gary Anderson; David Beede; Catherine Buffington; Eric Childress; Emin Dinlersoz; Lucia Foster; Nathan Goldschlag; John Haltiwanger; Zachary Kroff; Pascual Restrepo; Nikolas Zolas
  12. The Emerging Quantum Technology Industry: capital cities, entrepreneurship, and policy By Saverio Romeo; Helen Lawton Smith; Erran Carmel; John Slater
  13. The survival of Latvian products and firms in export markets By Konstantins Benkovskis; Peter Jarrett; Zeev Krill; Olegs Tkacevs; Naomitsu Yashiro
  14. How to Improve the Performance of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises? By Ririn Wulandari
  15. Informal Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Digitalization: Evidence from Surveys in Indonesia By Shinozaki, Shigehiro
  16. Artificial intelligence and productivity: global evidence from AI patent and bibliometric data. By Aleksandra Parteka; Aleksandra Kordalska

  1. By: Kleiner-Schaefer, Timo; Schaefer, Kerstin J.
    Abstract: University-industry collaborations (UICs) are one of the main sources of external knowledge and technologies for industrial firms, particularly in the context of emerging markets (EMs) and firm development. It is thus highly relevant to identify potential barriers internal to the firm as well as in the regional innovation system that might prevent firms from using UICs for innovation, in particular in an EM context. In order to address this issue, we conduct a firm-level study of the R&D-related segment of the manufacturing industry in Istanbul. Logistic regression analysis is used to test the effect of potential barriers on using UICs for innovative activities. With this approach, we are able to identify barriers that prevent innovation-related UICs and thus form a bottleneck to collaborations in the first place. Our findings show that lack of information about UIC opportunities as well as lack of financial support for UICs are the most relevant barriers that inhibit firms’ usage of UICs for innovation. This firm-level evidence points out the importance of university technology transfer offices in regional innovation systems and for fruitful UICs. We further find that administrative barriers have no significant effect, while barriers related to trust and skill matching with scientific partners even have a reverse effect to what we would have expected from the literature. This finding might point towards an effect of perceived versus deterring barriers that has been observed in innovation studies before and might be relevant for studying UICs as well.
    Keywords: barrier; emerging market; innovation; research and development; Turkey; university–industry collaboration
    JEL: O30 O32 O38
    Date: 2022–02–04
  2. By: Smith, Harry; Bennett, Robert J.; Van Lieshout, Carry; Montebruno, Piero
    Abstract: This article uses the British Business Census of Entrepreneurs (BBCE) to examine the history of entrepreneurship in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Scotland. The BBCE identifies every business proprietor listed in the 1851–1901 Scottish censuses, correcting for non-response issues. The BBCE, therefore, allows the whole population of Scottish entrepreneurs to be examined for the first time. These data are combined with a reweighted version of the 1911 Scottish Census report to allow the trends in entrepreneurial numbers and rates to be examined as a whole and broken down by sector and gender. The article also shows how entrepreneurship varied by location. This article offers support for previous work on Scottish entrepreneurship, notably stressing the continued importance of small-scale businesses. It also reveals that female entrepreneurship rates were far higher than previously thought. This article lays the groundwork for future studies of Scottish entrepreneurship using the BBCE data.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; census; economic history; 19th century; self-employed; gender; ESRCsupported project ES/M010953 Drivers of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses to include Scotland in the British Business Census of Entrepreneurs (BBCE); with additional support from Isaac Newton Trust Grant; 18.40(g) ‘Business proprietor succession and firm size change 1851-1881’
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–05–01
  3. By: Aghion, Philippe; Bergeaud, Antonin; Lequien, Matthieu; Melitz, Marc J.; Zuber, Thomas
    Abstract: We decompose the "China shock" into two components that induce different adjustments for firms exposed to Chinese exports: a horizontal shock affecting firms selling goods that compete with similar imported Chinese goods, and a vertical shock affecting firms using inputs similar to the imported Chinese goods. Combining French accounting, customs, and patent information at the firm-level, we show that the horizontal shock is detrimental to firms' sales, employment and innovation. Moreover, this negative impact is concentrated on low-productivity firms. By contrast, we find a positive effect - although often not significant - of the vertical shock on firms' sales, employment and innovation.
    Keywords: competition shock; patent; firms; import
    JEL: F14 O19 O31 O33 O34
    Date: 2021–08–09
  4. By: Davide Antonioli (University of Ferrara); Alberto Marzucchi (Gran Sasso Science Institute); Francesco Rentocchini (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Seville, Spain; Department of Economics Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM), University of Milan); Simone Vannuccini (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: We exploit firm-level data on robot adoption and use an event-study approach to study the unexplored relationship between robotisation and innovation. Instead of an enabling effect, we find a negative association between robot adoption and the probability to introduce product innovations, as well as their number; the results emerge using different proxy of product innovation. However, large-scale investments in mechanisation cancel-out the negative effect and show a positive association with R&D expenditure. We rationalise and interpret the findings suggesting that a piecewise substitutive relationship exists between process and product innovation. Large investments relax the product-process trade-off, as substantial R&D investments to accrue absorptive capacity are mobilised; as a result, they make less binding the allocation dilemma between implementing robot technology and designing and trialling new products. Finally, we discuss whether industrial robots studied here and in the literature feature enabling capabilities at all. The study has important implications for our understanding of the role of robots for firms operations and strategies, as well as for policy design.
    Keywords: robots, automation, product innovation, absorptive capacity, Spain
    JEL: O31 O33
    Date: 2022–04
  5. By: Fonseca, Madalena
    Abstract: Each year, there are student migration flows to peripheral regions in Portugal to enter higher education and enroll in small higher education institutions, because they are unable to get into the more prestigious and larger universities in the main cities. Those are small counter flows of the main flows from periphery to larger cities. We argue that these flows of students to the peripheries constitute flows of talent, drivers of innovation and economic growth, a means of enhancing human capital and regional upgrading and can contribute to the institutional change of those remote areas.
    Keywords: Talent Flows; Innovation in the peripheries; Students’ migrations; Geography of Talent
    JEL: O15 O35 R11 R23
    Date: 2022–03–10
  6. By: Bajgar, Matej; Criscuolo, Chiara; Timmis, Jonathan
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the growing scale of big businesses in the United States, Japan and 11 European countries. It documents a broad increase in industry concentration across the majority of countries and sectors over the period 2002 to 2014. The rising concentration is strongly associated with intensive investment in intangibles, particularly innovative assets, software and data, and this relationship is magnified in more globalized and digital-intensive industries. The results are consistent with intangibles disproportionately benefiting large firms and enabling them to scale up and raise their market shares, increasingly over time.
    Keywords: competition; industry and entrepreneurship; innovation
    JEL: E22 L10 L25
    Date: 2021–10–28
    Abstract: The European Innovation Scoreboard-EIS analyzes the value of exports of medium and high-tech products as a percentage of the total value of product exports. In the context of the European Innovation Scoreboard-EIS, the value of the export of medium and high technology products is considered as a function of the employment of human capital. That is, the companies that export more in terms of medium and high technology products are also companies that have a more qualified human capital and whose employability is more resistant to economic crises and recessions.
    Keywords: Keywords: Innovation, and Invention: Processes and Incentives; Management of Technological Innovation and R&D; Diffusion Processes; Open Innovation.
    JEL: O30 O31 O32 O33 O34
    Date: 2022–04–03
  8. By: Rodríguez Torres, Omar (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the productive role of social policy. It analyses the effect that participating in social policy programmes has on business performance of enterprises in Cartagena, Colombia. To investigate these effects, we employ an instrumental variable analysis to account for the potential endogeneity of participation. Exploiting the existence of a partially complied eligibility rule for Participation in the poverty reduction programme we are able to identify the effect on several enterprise indicators. The paper contributes to the literature on entrepreneurship policies in developing countries from the social policy perspective. It sheds light on the effects and potential mechanisms that the participation on social policy schemes has on the entrepreneurial activity of household enterprises. The results show that complier participating entrepreneurs are more credit-oriented and work more hours per day. No statistically significant effect is found on profit measures.
    Keywords: Social policy, poverty reduction, entrepreneurship, public policy, enterprise policy
    JEL: I31 I32 L26 J48 L53 O15 O35
    Date: 2022–03–18
  9. By: Valeria Gattai; Piergiovanna Natale; Francesca Rossi
    Abstract: Employing firm-level panel data from 2011 to 2015, we investigate the relationship between board diversity and outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) among firms headquartered in Europe. Previous studies suggest that best-performing firms self-select into OFDI and that board diversity affects firm performance and strategic decisions. Our focus is on board diversity in terms of gender and nationality as determinants of OFDI. After controlling for endogeneity using instrumental variables and control function methods, we find that board diversity positively affects OFDI by increasing firm performance; however, firms with more diverse boards are less likely to open foreign subsidiaries. Our findings also reveal that the negative effect of board diversity on OFDI is stronger in more productive firms.
    Keywords: Board diversity, Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Firm performance, Europe
    JEL: F23 G30 J16
    Date: 2022–03
  10. By: Coad, Alexander; Amaral-Garcia, Sofia; Bauer, Peter; Domnick, Clemens; Harasztosi, Péter; Pál, Rozália; Teruel, Mercedes
    Abstract: The effect of the COVID shock on European economies has been severe and also unequal, with some firms being affected much more strongly than others. To improve the effectiveness of policy interventions, policymakers need to understand which types of vulnerable firms have been suddenly pushed into dire circumstances. We seek to fill this important gap in our knowledge by providing evidence from the EIBIS (European Investment Bank Investment Survey, 2016-2020) on how the COVID shock has affected the investment activity and investment-related framework conditions of vulnerable firms. While data on actual investment activity post-COVID is not yet available to us, we focus on investment expectations. We exploit the fact that the same questions relating to investment expectations have been asked in several previous survey waves, which enables a difference-indifferences approach to investigate how investment expectations might have suddenly changed, for vulnerable groups of firms, immediately after the onset of the COVID crisis. We focus on 4 groups of vulnerable firms: High-Growth Enterprises (HGEs), young and small firms, R&D investors and nonsubsidiary firms. R&D investors are more likely to be pessimistic about investment plans as a consequence of the COVID shock, and (similarly) HGEs are less likely to be optimistic about investment plans. R&D investors are less likely to be optimistic about the availability of internal finance, while HGEs and R&D investors are more likely to be pessimistic about the availability of external finance. Subsidiary firms, interestingly, are more likely to report a decrease in expected investment, although this could be part of a conservative group-level strategy and coordinated group-level reduction in investment, however that is not caused by any detectable lack of access to (internal or external) finance. Event study graphs generally confirm our regression results.
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Daron Acemoglu; Gary Anderson; David Beede; Catherine Buffington; Eric Childress; Emin Dinlersoz; Lucia Foster; Nathan Goldschlag; John Haltiwanger; Zachary Kroff; Pascual Restrepo; Nikolas Zolas
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive description of the adoption of automation technologies by US firms across all economic sectors by leveraging a new module introduced in the Census Bureau’s 2019 Annual Business Survey. The module collects data from over 300,000 firms on the use of five advanced technologies: AI, robotics, dedicated equipment, specialized software, and cloud computing. We document that the adoption of these technologies remains low (especially for AI and robotics), varies substantially across industries, and concentrates on large and younger firms. However, because larger firms are much more likely to adopt them, 12-64% of US workers and 22-72% of manufacturing workers are exposed to these technologies. Firms report a variety of motivations for adoption, including automating tasks previously performed by labor. Consistent with the use of these technologies for automation, adopters have higher labor productivity and wages and lower labor shares. In particular, the use of these technologies is associated with a 15% increase in labor productivity, which accounts for 20–30% of the higher labor productivity achieved by the largest firms in an industry. Adopters report that these technologies raised skill requirements and led to greater demand for skilled labor, but brought limited or ambiguous effects to their employment levels.
    Date: 2022–04
  12. By: Saverio Romeo (Center for Innovation Management, Birkbeck University of London, UK); Helen Lawton Smith (Department of Management, Birkbeck University of London, UK); Erran Carmel (ogod School of Business, American University, Washington DC); John Slater
    Date: 2021–04
  13. By: Konstantins Benkovskis; Peter Jarrett; Zeev Krill; Olegs Tkacevs; Naomitsu Yashiro
    Abstract: This paper investigates factors that contribute to the survival of export relationships at the firm and product levels using a large anonymised firm-level database for Latvia. It finds that some characteristics of exporting firms, such as a higher productivity level, larger size, lower indebtedness and higher profitability are associated with longer duration of export relationships. Firms that innovated prior to exporting are also likely to enjoy longer export spells, while participation in an EU-fund support programme did not alter duration. Younger staff and management of the firm are associated with a better survival of a new export product. Furthermore, this paper reveals novel roles of export product characteristics in survival, in particular an interesting tension between the complexity of new export products and their “distance” from the existing export bundle. While aiming high, that is, exporting products that are more complex, pays off as such products are associated with longer-lasting trade relationships, aiming too high, that is exporting new products that are far more complex than the exporter’s existing product bundle, tends to lower their survival probability.
    Keywords: economic complexity, Exports, innovation, productivity, trade
    JEL: F10 F14 P45 H81
    Date: 2022–04–22
  14. By: Ririn Wulandari (Universitas MercuBuana, 11650, West Jakarta, Indonesia Author-2-Name: Wei-Loon Koe Author-2-Workplace-Name: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Melaka, 75300, Melaka, Malaysia Author-3-Name: Author-3-Workplace-Name: Author-4-Name: Author-4-Workplace-Name: Author-5-Name: Author-5-Workplace-Name: Author-6-Name: Author-6-Workplace-Name: Author-7-Name: Author-7-Workplace-Name: Author-8-Name: Author-8-Workplace-Name:)
    Abstract: "Objective - The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened economic conditions and jeopardized the performance of many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia. So the question arises of how to improve its performance so that MSMEs can maintain their survival in conditions like this. This study aims to answer these problems, namely to analyze the influence of management characteristics on MSME business performance with innovation as a mediator. The population in this study is MSMEs from various types of businesses in Indonesia. Methodology/Technique - A total of 123 samples were selected by stratified judgment sampling. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires. Finding - Data analysis using structural equation model (SEM) partial least squares (PLS) program. Novelty - Based on the analysis conducted, it can be concluded that to improve the performance of MSMEs, management characteristics need to be strengthened by efforts to create innovation, because without strengthening innovation, only having adequate management characteristics will not increase MSME performance. Type of Paper - Empirical"
    Keywords: Characteristics; Innovation; Micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); Performance
    JEL: M13 M19
    Date: 2021–12–31
  15. By: Shinozaki, Shigehiro (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Most micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) operate informally. While informal sectors are thought to contribute less to national economic development, MSMEs are a driving force behind national economic growth. Thus, formalizing informal MSMEs is critical to boosting national productivity, creating quality jobs, and promoting inclusive growth. We examine the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) impact on informal MSMEs in Indonesia by using a linear probability model regression and descriptive analysis based on evidence obtained through year-long surveys from March 2020 to May 2021. We also assess the extent of the digital transformation and challenges brought on by the pandemic and derive policy implications. The estimates found two streams of business clusters among informal MSMEs—contracting firm groups that suffered through the pandemic and those that benefited. The COVID-19 crisis and mobility restrictions led many informal MSMEs to accelerate digitalization. But digitally operated firms could not always operate successfully during the pandemic, splitting businesses into those profitable or less profitable.
    Keywords: COVID-19; informality; shadow economy; MSMEs; digitalization; SME development; access to finance; SME policy; Indonesia
    JEL: D22 G20 L20 L50
    Date: 2022–03
  16. By: Aleksandra Parteka (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland); Aleksandra Kordalska (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the effects of technological innovation in the artificial intelligence (AI) domain on productivity. We embed the recently released data on patents and publications related to AI into an augmented panel model of productivity growth, estimated for OECD countries, and compared to a non-OECD sample. Our instrumental variables' estimates, accounting for AI endogeneity, provide evidence in favour of the modern (AI) productivity paradox. We show that the development of AI technologies remains a niche innovation phenomenon with a negligible role in the officially recorded productivity growth process. This general result, i.e. the lack of a strong relationship between AI and productivity growth, is robust to changes in the country sample, in the way we quantify labour productivity or the creation of AI technology, in the specification of the empirical model (control variables) or in estimation methods.
    Keywords: technological innovation, productivity paradox, productivity growth, artificial intelligence, patents
    JEL: O33 O47
    Date: 2022–01

This nep-sbm issue is ©2022 by João Carlos Correia Leitão. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.