2018 Working Papers Series on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2018 Working Papers Series on Corporate R&D and Innovation

Heterogeneity of technology-specific R&D investments. Evidence from top R&D investors worldwide

Author: Petros Gkotsis, Antonio Vezzani
No. 04/2018

In this work, we develop and apply a methodology to estimate technology-specific R&D investments at the firm level and then use these to test some arguments that have become central in the innovation literature. In particular, we first combine R&D investments with patent data of the world top R&D investors worldwide and show that investment per patent varies greatly both across technologies and across firms developing the same technology. We then use the estimated firm-technology R&D investments to assess how these are related to the international and technological strategies of firms. The estimation strategy makes use of a multilevel framework that allows us to model heterogeneity both at the firm and industry level. In particular, we show that specific firms strategies requires different level of investments and that sector specificities matter in determining R&D per patent investments, economies of scale in knowledge production, and the cost of (further) specialization. Accounting for (un)observed heterogeneity may lead to better policy design and management decisions.

pdfHeterogeneity of technology-specific R&D investments. Evidence from top R&D investors worldwide

Explaining Growth Differences across Firms: The Interplay between Innovation and Management Practices

Author: Livio Romano
No. 03/2018

This paper provides first empirical evidence of the joint effects that innovation strategies and human resource management practices exert on firm growth. By exploiting unique information from a large sample of Italian manufacturing companies in the very recent years, it shows that investing in technology and implementing performance-based pay policies are both positively associated with a significant turnover, employment and labor productivity growth premium. However, their joint adoption does not necessarily sum the two effects. In particular, performance-based rewards boost growth of non-innovators and of firms pursuing relatively simple innovation strategies, centered around the acquisition of embodied technology. For firms strongly relying on R&D as an additional lever for product and process upgrading, the estimated effect of having in place monetary incentive mechanisms is null or even negative.

pdfExplaining Growth Differences across Firms: The Interplay between Innovation and Management Practices

Inward greenfield FDI and patterns of job polarization

Authors: Sara Amoroso and Pietro Moncada-PaternĂ²-Castello
No. 02/2018

The unprecedented growth in FDI in the last decades has caused drastic changes in the labour markets of the host countries. The major part of FDI takes place in low tech industries, where the wages and skills are low, or in high tech, where they offer a wage premium for the highly skilled workers. This mechanism may increase the polarization of employment into high-wage and low-wage jobs, at the expenses of middle-skill jobs. This paper looks at the effects of two types of FDI inflows, namely foreign investment in high-skill and low-skill activities, on skill polarization. We match data on greenfield FDI aggregated by country and sector with data on employment by occupational skill to investigate the extent to which differ types of greenfield FDI are responsible for skill polarization.

pdfInward greenfield FDI and patterns of job polarization

From R&D to market: using trademarks to capture the market capability of top R&D investors

Authors: Carolina Castaldi, Mafini Dosso
No. 01/2018

This paper investigates the links between the market capability of top corporate R&D investors (EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboards), as captured by trademark data and their economic performance in terms of net sales growth. It provides empirical evidence to better understand the extent to which companies, operating in different industrial sectors, combine technological capabilities with commercialization efforts to generate and appropriate the economic returns of their R&D investments. This paper shows how different dimensions of firms' market capabilities can be captured through trademark indicators. The results suggest that complementing R&D efforts and patenting activities with strong and specific market capabilities can indeed yield significant growth premiums. Moreover, offering services seems to pay off depending on the intensity of R&D investments. Yet, a quantile regression approach and a series of robustness checks indicate that such effects differ across the quantiles of the conditional sales growth distribution.