2017 Working Paper Series on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2017 Working Paper Series on Corporate R&D and Innovation

Design, innovation and performance in European firms

Authors: Sandro Montresor and Antonio Vezzani
No. 01/2017

This paper provides some new theoretical speculations and empirical evidence on the relationship between design, innovation and economic performance at the firm level. We posit that design investments may provide firms with a higher capacity of introducing product/process innovations, but that the ensuing economic performance is rather associated to the role of design within the firm. Moreover, once controlled for the firm's non-technological innovativeness and other knowledge-production inputs, the role of design does also relate to the introduction of innovative products and/or processes. We provide a systematic empirical test for these arguments on a sample of more than 12,000 European firms from the last EC Innobarometer survey. The econometric estimates are consistent with our expectations. However, while a higher innovativeness is also associated with a non-systematic resort to design, a higher innovation-based performance is coupled with an increasingly more central role of design, providing this is at least non-occasional. Innovations do actually look "design-led" overall, but innovating successfully apparently requires the firm to retain such a driver central to its business model.

The short-run effects of Knowledge intensive greenfield FDI on new domestic entry

Authors: Sara Amoroso and Bettina Müller
No. 02/2017

Existing evidence on the impact of foreign direct investment on domestic economies remains ambiguous. Positive technology spillovers of foreign investment may be outweighed by negative crowding out effect due to increased competition. In this paper, we employ a unique country/sector-level data set to investigate the impact of what is considered the ‘best' type of foreign investment —greenfield knowledge intensive FDI— on domestic entry. Our results suggest that, in the short run, this type of FDI is positively related to the entry rate in the host country, if the domestic sector is either dynamic, or highly R&D intensive. These sectors may be respectively characterized by lower entry costs, which encourage a ‘trial-and-error' learning business approach, and by a higher level of absorptive capacity which increases the chance of technology transfer.