2012 Working Papers Series on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2012 Working Papers Series on Corporate R&D and Innovation

R&D and Non-linear Productivity Growth in Heterogeneous Firms

Authors: D'Artis Kancs and Boriss Siliverstovs
No. 06/2012

The paper studies the relationship between R&D investment and firm productivity growth by explicitly accounting for non-linearities in the R&D-productivity relationship and inter-sectoral firm heterogeneity. In order to address these issues, we employ a two step estimation approach, and match two firm-level panel data sets for the OECD countries, which allows us to relax both the linearity and homogeneity assumptions of the canonical Griliches (1979) knowledge capital model. Our results suggest that: (i) R&D investment increases firm productivity with an average elasticity of 0.15; (ii) the impact of R&D investment on firm productivity is differential at different levels of R&D intensity – the productivity elasticity ranges from -0.02 for low levels of R&D intensity to 0.33 for high levels of R&D intensity; (iii) the relationship between R&D expenditures and productivity growth is non-linear, and only after a certain critical mass of R&D is reached, the productivity growth is significantly positive; (iv) there are important intersectoral differences with respect to R&D investment and firm productivity – high-tech sectors' firms not only invest more in R&D, but also achieve more in terms of productivity gains connected with research activities.

Absorptive capacity, innovation cooperation and human-capital. Evidence from 3 European countries

Authors: Chiara Franco, Alberto Marzucchi and Sandro Montresor
No. 05/2012

The paper aims at extending the analysis of the firm's absorptive capacity (AC) by taking stock of its manifold nature. Innovation cooperation is recognised as one of its antecedents, along with R&D, but with different possible outcomes, depending on the kind of partner. Human capital is claimed to be as important as other organisational mechanisms for the AC impact on innovation. The empirical application, carried out on about 10,500 firms located in 3 EU countries (i.e. Germany, Italy and Spain), confirms the role of these factors. Interacting with research organisations, for example, increases the firm's AC providing it occurs within the national boundaries. The transformation of AC into actual innovation is favoured by the human capital of the firm, while it is actually hampered by socialisation mechanisms of an organisational nature.

Research cooperation within and across regional boundaries. Does innovation policy add anything?

Authors: Alberto Marzucchi, Davide Antonioli and Sandro Montresor
No. 04/2012

The paper aims to show how policy makers can stimulate firms' cooperation with research organisations in innovation. We argue that the administration of an R&D subsidy can be effective. Furthermore, this should be more so for extra-regional than intra-regional cooperation. The firms' propensity to extend cooperation across the region is assumed to increase with the amount of support. However, the support must overcome a threshold, for firms to cover the fixed costs of distant interactions. These research hypotheses are tested with respect to a sample of firms in a region of Italy. Propensity score matching is applied to identify the impact of the subsidy receipt. A generalised propensity score technique is employed to investigate the effect of an increasing amount of support. All the hypotheses are not rejected. Firms' cooperation is policy sensitive, but the size of the support is crucial for its effects.

Does size or age of innovative firms affect their growth persistence? Evidence from a panel of innovative Spanish firms

Authors: Daria Ciriaci, Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello and Peter Voigt
No. 03/2012

This study examines serial correlation in employment, sales and innovative sales growth rates in a balanced panel of 3,300 Spanish firms over the years 2002-2009, obtained by matching different waves of the Spanish Encuesta sobre Innovacion en las Empresas, the Spanish innovation survey conducted annually by the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE). The main objective is to verify whether the changes (increase/decrease) in these figures are persistent over time, whether such persistence (if any) differs between SMEs and larger firms, and if it is affected by a firm's age. To do so, we adopted a semi-parametric quantile regression approach. This methodology is well suited to cases where outliers (high-growth firms) are the subject of investigation and/or when they have to be assumed as being very heterogeneous.

Empirical results indicate that among those innovative firms experiencing high employment growth, the smaller and younger grow faster than larger firms, but the jobs they create are not persistent over time. However, while being smaller and younger helps growing more in terms of employment and sales, it is not an advantage when innovative sales growth is considered: in this case larger firms experience faster growth.

To what extent are knowledge-intensive business services contributing to manufacturing? A subsystem analysis

Authors: Daria Ciriaci and Daniela Palma
No. 02/2012

The rise of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) may be considered as one of the decisive trends of economic evolution of industrialised countries in recent decades. This paper uses the concept of vertical integrated sectors and the subsystem approach to input-output matrix analysis to study the vertical integration of knowledge-based business services into manufacturing sectors. The study covers Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom over the period 1995-2005. Results decisively support both the existence of structural differences among the countries considered, and a significant heterogeneity to the extent to which manufacturing outsources to knowledge-intensive business services.

Projection of R&D Intensive Enterprises' Growth to the year 2020: Implications for EU policy?

Authors: Peter Voigt and Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello
No. 01/2012

The paper investigates how sector composition and magnitude of R&D investments in the EU may differ in year 2020 if top R&D-investing SMEs were assumed to be on a fast growth track while the top R&D-investing large companies continued to grow as before. Background is the emerging focus on SMEs - and in particular the fast growing among them - with regard to the "Europe 2020" policy strategy.