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

Do firms publish? A multi-sectoral analysis

Authors: Roberto Camerani, Daniele Rotolo, Nicola Grassano
No. 05/2018

We examine corporate publishing - i.e. firms' involvement in the production of scientific publications - with two research questions. First, why do firms publish? Through systematic literature review, we propose a framework of five incentives for firms to publish: (i) accessing external knowledge and resources; (ii) attracting and retaining researchers; (iii) signalling and reputation building; (iv) supporting IP strategies; and (v) supporting commercialization strategies. Second, how does firms' engagement in publishing differ across sectors? Variation in corporate publishing has not yet been comprehensively characterized in the literature. We present an empirical analysis of the publication activity of a global sample of 2,500 firms (and the 570,000 directly owned subsidiaries of these firms) operating in 20 industrial sectors. We find that corporate publishing is widespread, though considerable heterogeneity exists within and between sectors. Most firms (84%) in our sample contributed to at least one publication from 2011 to 2015. The number of firms' publications grew over the observation period (2.3% on a yearly basis), though not as fast as the global science output in general. Firms' publications are often co-authored with researchers at academic institutions (58%) and are cited more than expected (about 12% of firms' articles are within the top 10% most cited articles). We conclude by proposing a taxonomy of sectors based on their R&D investment intensity and publication activity.

pdfDo firms publish? A multi-sectoral analysis

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

Authors: 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.