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Beyond the Knowledge Production Function: The Role of R+D in a Multi-faceted Innovative Process

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  • Alessandra Catozzella

    (Universita degli Studi di Pavia)

  • Marco Vivarelli

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena; Institute for Prospective Technological Studies-European Commission, Seville; Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan; and Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA), Bonn)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to test the possible catalysing role of in-house R+D in fostering the complementarity of innovative inputs on a sample of 3045 manufacturing firms drawn from the third Italian Community Innovation Survey (1998-2000). The interactions between four different sources of innovation - internal and external R+D, embodied and disembodied technological acquisitions - have been simultaneously explored through the two (direct and indirect) testing frameworks for complementarity. Results from both the approaches show that the innovative process is a phenomenon combining within itself both complementarity and substitutability relationships, depending both on the typology of the targeted innovation output and on the particular combination of innovative inputs we focus on. In particular, it is in-house R+D that seems to create the precondition allowing firms to enjoy complementarity effects. Indeed, the possibility of exploiting synergies between different innovative inputs turns out to be subordinated to having undertaken a minimum amount of internal R+D. The implication of this result is that a role for in-house R+D emerges, beyond its direct effect in generating an innovative output: even if internal research is not a necessary precondition for a firm to be innovative, it should still be carried out because of its important role in the generation of synergies that amplify the impacts of the other innovative inputs it interacts with.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-087.

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Date of creation: 12 Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-087

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Keywords: R+D; innovation; complementarity; supermodularity; substitutability;

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Cited by:
  1. Fabio Campanini & Serena Costa & Paolo Rizzi, 2013. "The Machine Tool Industry in Italy: Industrial Innovations and Performances," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) dises1391, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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