nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2015‒04‒25
six papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Allocation of Human Capital and Innovation at the Frontier: Firm-level Evidence on Germany and the Netherlands By Eric Bartelsman; Sabien Dobbelaere; Bettina Peters
  2. Human capital, innovation and the distribution of firm growth rates By Goedhuys-Degelin M.D.L.; Sleuwaegen L.
  3. Structural Change and Innovation in Developing Economies: A Way Out of the Middle Income Trap ? By Marco Vivarelli
  4. The Growth Effects of R&D Spending in the EU: A Meta-Analysis By Kokko, Ari; Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik; Videnord, Josefin
  5. Buyers, Suppliers, and R&D Spillovers By IKEUCHI Kenta; René BELDERBOS; FUKAO Kyoji; Young Gak KIM; KWON Hyeog Ug
  6. Technology foresight and industrial strategy in developing countries By Pietrobelli C.; Puppato F.

  1. By: Eric Bartelsman (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and IZA, Germany); Sabien Dobbelaere (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and IZA, Germany); Bettina Peters (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), MaCCI Mannheimer Centre for Competition and Innovation, Germany, and University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper examines how productivity effects of human capital and innovation vary at different points of the conditional productivity distribution. Our analysis draws upon two large unbalanced panels of 6,634 enterprises in Germany and 14,586 enterprises in the Netherlands over the period 2000-2008, considering 5 manufacturing and services industries that differ in the level of technological intensity. Industries in the Netherlands are characterized by a larger average proportion of high-skilled employees and industries in Germany by a more unequal distribution of human capital intensity. Except for low-technology manufacturing, average innovation performance is higher in all industries in Germany and the innovation performance distributions are more dispersed in the Netherlands. In both countries, we observe non-linearities in the productivity effects of investing in product innovation in the majority of industries. Frontier firms enjoy the highest returns to pro duct innovation whereas the most negative returns to process innovation are observed in the best-performing enterprises of most industries. In both countries, we find that the returns to human capital increase with proximity to the technological frontier in industries with a low level of technological intensity. Strikingly, a negative complementarity effect between human capital and proximity to the technological frontier is observed in knowledge-intensive services, which is most pronounced for the Netherlands. Suggestive evidence for the latter points to a winner-takes-all interpretation of this finding.
    Keywords: Human capital, innovation, productivity, quantile regression
    JEL: C10 I20 O14 O30
    Date: 2013–07–19
  2. By: Goedhuys-Degelin M.D.L.; Sleuwaegen L. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the occurrence of high-growth firms in relation to human capital and innovation. High-growth firms are rather exceptional and temporary phenomena and occur in the upper tail of the conditional firm growth distribution. Using quantile regression we study how human capital and RD affect the probability that high-growth firms occur. The results show that both human capital and RD increase the likelihood that a firm is a high-growth firm. Human capital appears to be positive and growth enhancing over the entire conditional growth distribution, hence also in the lower quantiles, where it reduces the likelihood of low growth. By contrast, RD increases not only the likelihood of high-growth firms, but also the likelihood of low-growth firms and exits, underscoring the risky nature of innovation. A probit analysis for high-growth firms and low-growth firms provides corroborating evidence for this finding. From a policy perspective the results suggest the use of more integrated policies, not only focusing on stimulating RD but also on the quality of human capital to foster the development of high-growth firms.
    Keywords: Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope; Management of Technological Innovation and R&D;
    JEL: L25 O32
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Marco Vivarelli
    Abstract: This paper is intended to provide an updated discussion on a series of issues that the relevant literature suggests to be crucial in dealing with the challenges a middle income country may encounter in its attempts to further catch-up a higher income status. In particular, the conventional economic wisdom - ranging from the Lewis-Kuznets model to the endogenous growth approach - will be contrasted with the Schumpeterian and evolutionary views pointing to the role of capabilities and knowledge, considered as key inputs to foster economic growth. Then, attention will be turned to structural change and innovation, trying to map - using the taxonomies put forward by the innovation literature - the concrete ways through which a middle income country can engage a technological catching-up, having in mind that developing countries are deeply involved into globalized markets where domestic innovation has to be complemented by the role played by international technological transfer. Among the ways how a middle income country can foster domestic innovation and structural change in terms of sectoral diversification and product differentiation, a recent stream of literature underscores the potentials of local innovative entrepreneurship, that will also be discussed bridging entrepreneurial studies with the development literature. Finally, the possible consequences of catching-up in terms of jobs and skills will be discussed.
    Keywords: catching-up, structural change, globalization, capabilities, innovation, entrepreneurship
    Date: 2015–04–20
  4. By: Kokko, Ari (Copenhagen Business School); Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik (The Ratio institute and Söderturn university); Videnord, Josefin (The Ratio institute and Uppsala university)
    Abstract: In this paper we conduct a meta-analysis to examine the link between R&D spending and economic growth in the EU and other regions. The results suggest that the growth-enhancing effect of R&D in the EU15 countries does not differ from that in other countries in general, but it is less significant than that for other industrialized countries. A closer inspection of the data reveals that the weak results for the EU15 stem from comparisons with the US – the US has been able to generate a stronger growth response from its R&D spending. Possible explanations for the US advantage include higher private sector investment in R&D and stronger public-private sector linkages than in the EU. Hence, to reduce the “innovation gap” vis-à-vis the US, it may not be enough for the EU to raise the share of R&D expenditures in GDP: continuous improvements in the European innovation system will also be needed, with focus on areas like private sector R&D and public-private sector linkages.
    Keywords: meta-analysis; R&D; European Union; EU15; USA; Economic Growth
    JEL: F43 O51 O52
    Date: 2015–04–14
  5. By: IKEUCHI Kenta; René BELDERBOS; FUKAO Kyoji; Young Gak KIM; KWON Hyeog Ug
    Abstract: The role of buyers and suppliers has received little attention in the literature on research and development (R&D) spillovers and productivity, which has focused primarily on the moderating roles of technological and geographic proximity. In this study, we examine R&D spillovers that result from buyer and supplier relationships at the transaction level, utilizing a unique dataset identifying individual buyers and suppliers of Japanese manufacturing firms, matched with data from R&D surveys and the Census of Manufactures. In an analysis of more than 20,000 Japanese manufacturing plants, we find that R&D stocks of buyers and suppliers provide a substantial productivity performance premium over and above the effect of technologically and geographically proximate R&D stocks. These effects are magnified if the supplier and buyer have business group ties based on capital ownership relationships. While the effects of technologically proximate R&D decay with distance, this is not the case for spillovers from buyers and suppliers. Our results identify transaction-based spillovers as a key influence on productivity and social returns to R&D.
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Pietrobelli C.; Puppato F. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: When Technology Foresight TF began to be adopted in industrial countries, it tended to be still somewhat a marginal activity in developing countries. It was then believed that TF and its prediction of the future was a matter that only highly industrialised countries could endeavour to achieve, being more engaged and interested in frontier and new to the world innovation. Today globalisation, increased complexity, competition and fast technical change, have radically transformed the range of economic activities that developing countries can perform. Production is internationally fragmented and organised along global value chains. Dense flows of knowledge and technology are available, but need to be fully exploited and employed within coherent industrial strategies. A specialisation by technology and learning has become the dominant paradigm and developing countries must detect opportunities for future technological and productive specialisation in order to catch up and forge ahead. Yet, often TF exercises do not go hand in hand with the design of a concrete policy strategy to promote emerging countries productive development and catching up. This paper analyses how and to what extent TF programmes are needed in developing countries given the new prevailing global context. It argues that the link between TF and broader industrial development strategy needs to be taken seriously in light of its role to shape technological change and economic growth, and that TF and industrial development strategy need to be coherently designed and implemented. We provide preliminary support to this argument by discussing the theoretical foundations of TF and industrial strategy and their justification, and then reviewing some relevant examples from Brazil, Chile and South Korea.
    Keywords: Industrial Policy; Technological Change: Government Policy;
    JEL: O38 O25
    Date: 2015

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