nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2008‒06‒27
six papers chosen by
Rui Baptista
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Productivity Impact of R&D Investment: Evidence from European Microdata By Raquel Ortega-Argilés; Lesley Potters; Marco Vivarelli
  2. EU-US differences in the size of R&D intensive firms: Do they explain the overall R&D intensity gap? By Raquel Ortega-Argiles; Andries Brandsma
  3. Vertical Disintegration in Marshallian Industrial Districts By Octávio Figueiredo; Paulo Guimarães; Douglas Woodward
  4. Innovation-systems, path-dependency and policy: The co-evolution of science, technology and innovation policy and industrial structure in a small, resource-based economy By Jan Fagerberg; David Mowery; Bart Verspagen
  5. Intangible Capital and Productivity: An Exploration on a Panel of Italian Manufacturing Firms By Maria Elena Bontempi; Jacques Mairesse
  6. The Technology Endowments of Spin-off Companies By E. VAN DE VELDE; B. CLARYSSE; M. WRIGHT

  1. By: Raquel Ortega-Argilés (Joint Research Centre-European Commission, IPTS Seville); Lesley Potters (Joint Research Centre-European Commission and Utrecht School of Economics); Marco Vivarelli (Joint Research Centre-European Commission, Catholic University, Milan and Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between a firm's R&D activities and its productivity using a unique micro data panel dataset and looking at sectoral peculiarities which may emerge; more specifically, we used an unbalanced longitudinal database consisting of 532 top European R&D investors over the six-year period 2000-2005. Our main findings can be summarised along the following lines: knowledge stock has a significant positive impact on a firm's productivity, with an overall elasticity of about 0.125; this general result is largely consistent with previous literature in terms of the sign, the significance and the estimated magnitude of the relevant coefficient. More interestingly, the coefficient increases monotonically when we move from the low-tech to the medium-high and high-tech sectors, ranging from a minimum of 0.05/0.07 to a maximum of 0.16/0.18. This outcome, in contrast with recently-renewed acceptance of low-tech sectors as a preferred target of R&D investment, suggests that firms in high-tech sectors are still far ahead in terms of the impact on productivity of their R&D investments, at least as regards top European R&D investors.
    Keywords: R&D, productivity, knowledge stock, panel data, perpetual inventory method
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2008–06–18
  2. By: Raquel Ortega-Argiles (Joint Research Centre-European Commission, IPTS Seville); Andries Brandsma (Joint Research Centre-European Commission, IPTS Seville)
    Abstract: The average firm size of the top R&D investors among US-based companies is smaller than that of the EU-based firms. Does this help to explain why the US has a greater R&D intensity, or is the higher firm size in the EU, just as its lower R&D intensity, determined by the sectors in which the top R&D investors are operating? Using data on the top-R&D investors from the 2006 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, the size differential between R&D performers in the EU and US is more closely examined. A first observation is that, despite great differences between sectors, the overall distribution of companies' R&D investments in both economies is remarkably similar, as opposed to the distribution of the R&D/sales ratios of the same two sets of companies. The notion that size plays a role, independent of the sectoral composition of R&D, is then confirmed by regression analysis. In the US as well as in the EU, smaller sized Scoreboard companies tend to spend a larger proportion of their income from sales on R&D.
    Keywords: R&D intensity, firm size, panel data
    JEL: L11
    Date: 2008–06–18
  3. By: Octávio Figueiredo (Universidade do Porto and CEMPRE); Paulo Guimarães (University of South Carolina and CEMPRE); Douglas Woodward (University of South Carolina)
    Abstract: This paper uses a novel measure and detailed plant-level Portuguese data to reexamine the Marshallian hypothesis that specialization and the vertical disintegration of firms should be greater in areas where an industry concentrates. Our measure of firm specialization and vertical disintegration employs a Herfindhal index constructed with occupational shares for all workers within the firm. Controlling for firm size and sector of activity, we find that vertical disintegration is around three percent higher in areas where industries agglomerate. Sensitivity tests reveal that this positive relation is remarkably robust across different specifications.
    Keywords: Vertical Disintegration of Firms; Agglomeration; Localization Economies
    JEL: R12 R39 L25
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Jan Fagerberg (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo); David Mowery (University of California, Berkeley); Bart Verspagen (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the co-evolution of science, technology and innovation policy and industrial structure in a small, resource-based economy (Norway). The contributions of the paper are threefold. First, it develops an evolutionary and historically oriented approach to the study of the development of science, technology and innovation policy based that may have wide applicability. Second, if focuses on a particular type of innovation, innovation in resource-based activities, that differs in many respects from the more commonly studied “high-tech” case and which arguably be of relevance for may present day developing countries. Third, the paper advances our understanding of the roles played by institutions and politics in innovation. Previous work on national systems of innovation has often devoted little attention to these matters, possibly because much of it examines “snapshots” of various innovation systems at a specific point in time and lacks historical depth.
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Maria Elena Bontempi; Jacques Mairesse
    Abstract: The paper examines the size and productivity of total intangible capital relative to total tangible capital for a large panel of Italian Manufacturing firms. In the analysis, we decompose total intangibles in two different ways: in intangibles expensed in firms' current accounts (as usually considered in empirical studies) versus intangible capitalized in firms' balance sheets (usually not considered); and in "intellectual capital" (i.e. R&D expenditures, and patenting and related costs) versus "customer capital" (i.e., advertising expenditure, and trademarks and related costs). We systematically assess the robustness of our results by using different specifications of the production functions implying different elasticities of substitution between tangible and intangible capital, and comparing different panel data estimates. Our results underscore that firms' accounting information on intangible investments is genuinely informative, showing that intangible capital and its different components are at least as productive as tangible capital.
    JEL: C23 C52 D24
    Date: 2008–06
    Abstract: Innovative start-ups, including spin-offs from universities and companies, play a vital role in the development and growth of emerging, high-technology industries. Research attention has traditionally focused on the links between demographic, educational, psychological and financial influences on start-up activity and growth. The extent to which the characteristics of technology inherited from the parent, important for spin-offs, helps explain post start-up performance has been neglected. We analyse the scope and newness of the endowed technology as a predictor of post-spin-off growth for corporate and university spin-offs. Using a novel, hand-collected dataset, 48 corporate and 73 university spin-offs were identified, comprising the whole population of such spin-offs in Flanders over the period 1991-2002. We find that corporate spin-offs seem to benefit from a narrow scope of technology and a high level of newness of technology, while university spin-offs benefit from a broad scope of technology and a lower level of newness of technology. We conclude that the same choice of technology endowments may have a different impact on the spin-offs’ growth, since spin-offs start with different knowledge inheritance.
    Keywords: technology endowment, corporate spin-offs, university spin-offs
    Date: 2008–04

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