nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
fourteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Firm resilience and growth during the economics crisis: lessons from the Greek depression By Christos, Genakos; Kaplanis, Ioannis; Tagaraki, Maria Theano; Tsakanikas, Aggelos
  2. Innovation and Appropriability: Revisiting the Role of Intellectual Property By Filippo Mezzanotti; Timothy Simcoe
  3. The creation of digital innovative start-ups: the role of digital knowledge spillovers and digital skill endowment By Alessandra Colombelli; Emilio Paolucci; Elisabetta Raguseo; Gianluca Elia
  4. Universities that matter for regional knowledge base renewal - the role of multilevel embeddedness By Nils Grashof; Holger Graf
  5. Where do gazelles and high-growth firms occur in Germany? By Tomenendal, Matthias; Raffer, Christian
  6. Nobody’s gonna slow me down? The effects of a transportation cost shock on firm performance and behavior By Branco, Catarina; Dohse, Dirk C.; Pereira dos Santos, João; Tavares, José
  7. Exploring new metrics to measure environmental innovation By Damien Dussaux; Alberto Agnelli; Nordine Es-Sadki
  8. 국제사회의 산업부문 탄소중립 추진 동향과 대응방향: 중소기업을 중심으로(Global Efforts to Achieve Carbon Neutrality in the Industrial Sector and Implications: Focusing on SMEs) By Kim, Eunmi; Lee, Sunghee
  9. Labour costs and the decision to hire the first employee By Bart Cockx; Sam Desiere
  10. Aging and regional productivity growth in Germany By Bode, Eckhardt; Dohse, Dirk; Stolzenburg, Ulrich
  11. Post-growth and the demand-pull hypothesis of innovation: Biting the hand that feeds you? By Jasny, Johannes; Schubert, Torben
  12. Technology Diffusion across Regions By Sebbesen, Anja
  13. German Firms in International Trade: Evidence from Recent Microdata By Matthias Fauth; Benjamin Jung; Wilhelm Kohler
  14. Emergence of Digital Business Ecosystems: A theoretical framework By Hanaa Farih; Rachid Wahabi

  1. By: Christos, Genakos; Kaplanis, Ioannis; Tagaraki, Maria Theano; Tsakanikas, Aggelos
    Abstract: The global financial crisis that burst in 2008 adversely affected business performance in many countries, especially in Europe. However, the impact of the crisis on entrepreneurship and business dynamics differed amongst countries, depending on their businesses resilience, the policies implemented, but also their predominant productive structure. The magnitude and length of the Greek depression have no precedent among modern middle and high-income economies. Still, to date, there is no systematic analysis of the impact of the crisis on entrepreneurship and business dynamism. This study attempts to fill this gap by examining individual firm, sectoral and regional level characteristics that might affect existing firm resilience and new firm survival rate. We use two sources of data with the most extensive coverage of small (sole proprietorship) and large (other legal status firms) firms containing information on entry and exit in Greece. Matching data from patents and trademarks allow us to examine the interplay between entrepreneurship and innovation. Our analysis focuses on the factors that help or hinder firm survival and growth. We find that the crisis increased the exit likelihood for a firm by 5% to 16%. Larger firms, with significant fixed assets, lower financial leverage, operating in concentrated industries, but also those that are innovation and export oriented tend to have better chances of survival compared to their counterparts. These results are important for designing business policies not only in Greece but also other countries facing similar crises.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; business dynamism; innovation; crisis policy; resilience
    JEL: D20 L20 L25 O30 R11
    Date: 2023–07–01
  2. By: Filippo Mezzanotti; Timothy Simcoe
    Abstract: It is more than 25 years since the authors of the Yale and Carnegie surveys studied how firms seek to protect the rents from innovation. In this paper, we revisit that question using a nationally representative sample of firms over the period 2008-2015, with the goal of updating and extending a set of stylized facts that has been influential for our understanding of the economics of innovation. There are five main findings. First, while patenting firms are relatively uncommon in the economy, they account for an overwhelming share of R&D spending. Second, firms consider utility patents less important on average than other forms of IP protection, like trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights. Third, industry differences explain a great deal of the level of firms’ engagement with IP, with high-tech firms on average being more active on all forms of IP. Fourth, we find no significant differences in the use of IP strategies across firms at different points of their life cycle. Lastly, unlike age, firms of different size appear to manage IP significantly differently. On average, larger firms tend to engage much more extensively in the protection of IP, and this pattern cannot be easily explained by differences in the type of R&D or innovation produced by a firm. We also discuss the implications of these findings for innovation research and policy.
    JEL: D2 L25 O3
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Alessandra Colombelli; Emilio Paolucci; Elisabetta Raguseo (Polito - Politecnico di Torino = Polytechnic of Turin , CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - UTLN - Université de Toulon); Gianluca Elia
    Abstract: Abstract Building on the Knowledge Spillover Theory of Entrepreneurship (KSTE) and the Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (DEE) approach, this paper investigates the relationship between the local availability of digital knowledge (i.e., digital knowledge spillovers and digital skill endowment) and the creation of digital innovative start-ups in Italian NUTS3 regions. The obtained results show that both elements are significant for the creation of digital innovative start-ups at the province level, and a two-fold contribution has been made: from a theory perspective, an extension of KSTE to digital settings has been used to assess the relevance of geographical issues, while, from a DEE perspective, the study contributes by empirically analyzing the specific characteristics of the local ecosystem that can affect the creation of digital innovative start-ups. Finally, we discuss the implications for entrepreneurship and technology policy at the local level.
    Keywords: Digital start-ups, Digital knowledge spillovers, Digital skill endowment, Knowledge Spillover Theory of Entrepreneurship
    Date: 2023–06–08
  4. By: Nils Grashof (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration); Holger Graf (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We analyze the role of universities or, more generally higher education institutions (HEIs), in terms of their regional and international embeddedness for regional knowledge base renewal. We assume that the introduction of radical patents in the sense of novel technological combinations contributes to the renewal of the knowledge base. For our empirical study, we combine information from patent applications, scientific publications and higher education statistics. We find that HEIs contribute most to knowledge base renewal if they have a strong research output and are locally embedded. International research embeddedness of HEIs benefits regional development only if combined with a central position in the regional network.
    Keywords: higher education institutions, universities, knowledge base renewal, radical innovation, SNA, embeddedness
    JEL: I20 I23 I25 O3 R11
    Date: 2023–07–20
  5. By: Tomenendal, Matthias; Raffer, Christian
    Abstract: There is still a rather small number of studies on gazelles in Germany, home to Europe's largest economy and its capital Berlin, one of Europe's main startup hubs. In particular, a recent overview on the occurrence of gazelles in Germany, which differentiates gazelles (up to five years old) from other high-growth firms (no age restriction) is missing. Applying descriptive statistics to a data set of 5, 328 high-growth firms we provide such an overview in terms of regional and sectoral distribution of German gazelles as well as their spatial link to regional business clusters. We find that most German high-growth firms (and equally gazelles) exist in the most populated German states. They mostly exist in traditional business sectors like construction and manufacturing. Relatively more gazelles than older high-growth firms exist in the sector of further business-related services. In the sectors construction, information and communication, further business-related services, and art, entertainment and recreation, we identify weak but significant positive spatial associations between the number of cluster initiatives and the number of gazelles. No such association exists for the entirety of high-growth firms in Germany.
    Keywords: gazelles, German gazelles, high-growth firms, distribution of gazelles, occurrence of gazelles, clusters, cluster embeddedness
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Branco, Catarina; Dohse, Dirk C.; Pereira dos Santos, João; Tavares, José
    Abstract: We study the firm-level responses to a substantial increase in transportation costs in the wake of a quasi-experiment that introduced tolls in a subset of Portuguese highways. Exploiting a unique dataset encompassing the universe of Portuguese private firms, we find that the introduction of tolls caused a substantial decrease in turnover (−10.2%) and productivity (−4.3%) in treated firms vis-à-vis firms in the comparison group. In response to the tolls, firms substantially cut employment-related expenses and purchases of other inputs. Labor costs were reduced by both employment cuts and a decrease in average wages. While firms did not increase inventory, there is some evidence for increased firm exit, in particular by firms in tradables sectors.
    Keywords: Road tolls, Infrastructure, Firm performance, Firm behavior, Location, Portugal
    JEL: R48 L25 R12
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Damien Dussaux; Alberto Agnelli; Nordine Es-Sadki
    Abstract: Several efforts have been made to track progress on environmental innovations using very different approaches. However, many lack coverage, granularity, timeliness and may involve high data collection costs, especially when conducted on a large scale. Traditional indicators also overlook commercialised innovation and breakthrough innovation. This issue is particularly relevant for environmental innovation, where scaling-up is considered key to address the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises. The paper reviews potential metrics to measure commercialised climate change-related innovation and to measure breakthrough environmental innovation. By comparing advantages and drawbacks of various options, the paper selects two families of metrics to measure commercialised climate change-related innovation: one based on patent assignments and the other one based on licensing agreements. For breakthrough environmental innovation, the paper concludes that a family of metrics based on venture capital data is currently the most promising option to pursue. The paper then develops the selected new metrics and provides trends in environmental innovation over time, across sectors and when possible across countries. The paper concludes that additional data sources should be explored to extend the application of the proposed new metrics in more countries and consider a more comprehensive set of supports to innovation.
    Keywords: assignment, breakthrough innovation, green innovation, innovation metrics, licensing, patent, transfer, venture capital
    JEL: O31 Q55
    Date: 2023–07–24
    Abstract: 전 세계적으로 다수의 국가와 기업이 탄소중립을 추구함에 따라 다량의 온실가스를 배출하는 산업부문의 감축 노력이 강화되고 있다. 본 연구는 주요국의 정부뿐만 아니라 민간의 온실가스 감축 전략을 비교분석하고, 설문조사를 토대로 우리나라 중소기업의 정책 수요를 파악하여 시사점을 도출하였다. 특히 산업부문의 탈탄소화 과정에서 중소기업의 역할이 중요함에도 이를 다각도로 분석한 연구가 부족하다는 점에서 차별성을 확보하고 있다. The international community has stepped up efforts to achieve carbon neutrality or net zero emissions and has begun to expand the scope of greenhouse gas management to all companies in the supply chain. In particular, the decarbonization of industries that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases is an important task for countries not only to effectively respond to climate change, but also to improve their energy security and international competitiveness. Although decarbonization can be achieved by all companies regardless of their sizes, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling with a lack of resources and capabilities. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to analyze the characteristics of national and multilateral carbon-neutral strategies, identify policy demands of SMEs based on survey results, and derive implications for the decarbonization of the industrial sector and, in particular, SMEs in Korea. Chapter 2 mainly analyzes policies to reduce greenhouse gases in the industrial sector and cases of multilateral cooperation between both major governments and global companies. Sweden, Germany, the United States, the UK and Japan are increasing their financial support for decarbonization efforts in their industrial sectors, also rearranging relevant policies and institutions. Sweden is working closely with the EU and its local governments to support carbon reduction projects, and also subsidizes investments with greenhouse gas reduction benefits but not expected to generate a return on investment without subsidies. Germany is inducing technological innovation and international cooperation among SMEs. The United States is expanding its investment in clean energy and providing research and development funding to SMEs and startups through federal agency-level programs such as SBIR/STTR programs. The UK is promoting decarbonization particularly in high-emitting industrial clusters, and is stimulating private investment through public funding for technology innovation. Japan is expanding its financial support in this area, for instance through tax benefits for companies pursuing green transformation (GX), and helping SMEs and startups enter or expand their business in developing countries through funds including Official Development Assistance (ODA).(the rest omitted)
    Keywords: Environmental policy; industrial policy; carbon neutrality; decarbonization; climate change; sustainability; SMEs
    Date: 2023–05–28
  9. By: Bart Cockx; Sam Desiere (-)
    Abstract: Firms without paid employees account for up to 80% of all firms, but only a small minority ever hires. This paper investigates the relationship between labour costs and the decision to hire a first employee and become an employer. Leveraging a unique policy in Belgium that permanently reduced the labour cost of the first employee by 13%, we find that the number of new, first-time employers jumped by 31% immediately following the reform. The elasticity of the probability to hire the first employee with respect to the labour cost is -2.39 [95% CI: -3.45, -1.25].
    Keywords: nonemployers, hiring decisions, payroll taxes, small businesses
    JEL: D22 H25 J08 J23 L26 M13
    Date: 2023–05
  10. By: Bode, Eckhardt; Dohse, Dirk; Stolzenburg, Ulrich
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of aging on regional productivity growth, the mechanisms and the strength of which are not well-understood. We focus on two different manifestations of population aging—workforce aging and an increasing share of retirees—and investigate channels through which aging may impact on regional productivity growth for a panel of German counties 2000–2019. We find that workforce aging is more negatively associated with productivity growth in urban than in nonurban regions. A likely reason is that aging is detrimental to innovative and knowledge-intensive activities, which are heavily concentrated in cities. We also find a negative association between the share of the retired population and productivity growth in regions with a small household services sector. A likely reason is that older people’s disproportionate demand for local household services (including health care, recreation) requires a re-allocation of resources from more productive manufacturing or business services to less productive household services. Regions specialized more in highly productive industries have more to lose in this process.
    Keywords: Workforce aging, Population aging, Productivity growth, Regional analysis, Germany
    JEL: E24 J11 J24 J26 R11
    Date: 2023
  11. By: Jasny, Johannes; Schubert, Torben
    Abstract: The post-growth discourse emphasizes the role need to limit economic growth as a primary means to stop continuous environmental degradation associated with production induced overexploitation of natural resources. A criticism of the post-growth discourse is, however, that innovation is known to be demand-driven implying that limiting growth may then undermine incentives to innovate. This may reduce the speed with which new environmentally friendly technologies are developed. Empirical analysis of this claim however do not exist. Relying on data from the European Manufacturing Survey 2018 for Germany, we match macroeconomic sector-growth statistics from the German Statistical Office and analyse how firm-level and sector level growth drive firms' innovation activities with a specific focus to environmental innovations. We find that while firm-level growth is strongly associated with all kinds of innovation activities, sector-level growth is not. Our results suggest that limiting overall economic growth may not undermine incentives to innovate as long as growth is still feasible on the level of the firm.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Innovation, Post-growth, Demand pull hypothesis, Green growth
    Date: 2023
  12. By: Sebbesen, Anja
    Abstract: Until recently, the geographical coverage of empirical studies on regional technology diffusion was usually rather limited or biased towards the industrialized world. This paper extends the sample of analysis and investigates regional TFP growth and the factors determining productivity spillovers for an extensive amount of regions. Nonlinearities in the effects of the explanatory variables as well as spatial spillovers are considered in the estimation model. The findings confirm a robust direct impact of technological catch-up on regional TFP growth. Catch-up speeds increase with higher levels of human capital and in countries with larger inflows of FDI. Furthermore, positive spatial spillovers of technology levels are observed.
    Keywords: Regional TFP growth; transmission channels; spatial spillovers; human capital; spatial switching regression
    Date: 2023–07
  13. By: Matthias Fauth; Benjamin Jung; Wilhelm Kohler
    Abstract: In this paper, we zoom in on the firm level of German merchandise foreign trade, using a novel data base with information on the export and import value by firm, country, product and year for the period 2011-2019. Problems arising from the consolidated reporting of taxable entities and the reporting thresholds present in intra-EU trade have been largely eliminated through redistributions conducted by DESTATIS. Using the data, we examine how global German firms are by looking at the joint distribution of the number of products they trade and the number of countries they trade with. Moreover, we examine the importance of firms mainly engaged in trade intermediation, as opposed to production. Most importantly, we provide a rich description of heterogeneity among German firms by decomposing their trade relationships into intensive margins (value of trade) and extensive margins (number of firms, products and countries). We describe the distributions for each margin, distinguishing intra-EU and extra-EU trade as well as different firm types (producers, wholesalers, retailers). Finally, we reveal strong positive correlations between and within importing and exporting margins, supporting the presence of firm-level complementarities implied by recent theory.
    Keywords: trade statistics, firm-level data, trade intermediation, Germany
    JEL: F14 F23
    Date: 2023
  14. By: Hanaa Farih (ENCGS - Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion de SETTAT); Rachid Wahabi
    Abstract: This paper seeks to determine what triggers the emergence of Digital Business Ecosystems. To reach this aim, Traditional Business Ecosystems are considered as the initial state from which Digital Business Ecosystems arise. Thus, both of the concepts are defined, stating their characteristics, roles of the actors and stages of formation. Moreover, organizational change theory is adopted in order to explain the cited emergence. Disruptions from the use of ICTs and the digital transformation initiatives prompt the evolution of Digital Business Ecosystems approach and stimulates the adoption of more innovative means of conducting business. Therefore, organizational change theory is suitable to explain the motives behind the potential shift of Business Ecosystems from Traditional to Digital. The inherent triggers can take place within each organization of the ecosystem and thus systems theory is advocated; the emphasis on fixing the appropriate organizational goals that involve innovation is the key to meet change. Transition can also emerge from people's own will and the desire to evolve along with the new digital environment, or out of a conflictual situation where norms and rules evolve to embrace the new possibilities that digital offers. The results of the conceptual literature review confirm that the potential shift towards Digital Business Ecosystems is a reality that could be tackled by encouraging organizational development and fostering co-creation of value in a constantly changing environment. The findings offer a relevant conceptual contribution to bridge a gap in the DBE existing research regarding the origins of this concept and its driving force.
    Keywords: Business Ecosystem Digital Business Ecosystem Organizational change theory. JEL Classification: M19 Paper type: Theoretical research, Business Ecosystem, Digital Business Ecosystem, Organizational change theory, Value creation
    Date: 2022–12–05

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