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Complementarities in Innovation Policy

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  • Pierre Mohnen
  • Lars-Hendrik Röller

Abstract

This paper develops a framework for testing discrete complementarities in innovation policy using European data on obstacles to innovation. We propose a discrete test of supermodularity in innovation policy leading to a number of inequality constraints. We apply our test to two types of innovation decisions: to innovate or not, and if so, by how much. We find that industries display a considerable amount of complementarity, with some industries being complementary across all obstacles. We also find that the lack internal human capital (skilled personnel) is complementary to all the other obstacles in almost all industries. In this sense, our results suggest that internal human capital is key for any innovation policy, insofar that it is complementary to all the other factors that might hamper innovation activities. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Innovationspolitik als komplementäres System) In diesem Beitrag wird die Innovationsfähigkeit von Unternehmen in Abhängigkeit von Standortfaktoren - wie etwa die Bereitstellung von Risikokapital, staatliche Regulierungen, und qualifizierte Mitarbeiter - als komplementäres System modelliert. Es wird aufgezeigt, wie die neue Komplementaritätstheorie in der empirischen Innovationsforschung angewandt werden kann, indem die Innovationsfunktion von Unternehmen auf die Eigenschaft der Supermodularität hin überprüft wird. Unter Berücksichtigung dieses Ansatzes wird, anhand von Innovationsdaten aus der CIS Datenbank, die Komplementaritätshypothese für eine Reihe von Industrien und Länder untersucht. Die Ergebnisse zeigen auf, daß viele Branchen von einem beträchtlichen Maße an Komplementarität gekennzeichnet sind. Damit bestätigen die Befunde, daß Innovationen, in bestimmten Branchen, ein koordiniertes Handeln der unter­schiedlichen Standortfaktoren voraussetzt. Als höchst komplementär zu allen anderen Stand­ortfaktoren in fast allen Industriezweigen erweist sich der Mangel an qualifiziertem Human­kapital. In diesem Sinne bekräftigen unsere Ergebnisse die These, daß Humankapital der Schlüssel für jede Innovationspolitik ist, insbesondere aufgrund der komplementären Beziehung zu allen anderen Faktoren.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number FS IV 00-18.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Economic Review , 49(6), 2005, pp. 1431-1450.
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:fsiv00-18

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  1. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
  2. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  3. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  5. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2002. "Complementarity in the Innovation Strategy: Internal R&D, External Technology Acquisition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  7. Vives, X., 1988. "Nash Equilibrium With Strategic Complementarities," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 107-88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  9. Mairesse ,Jacques & Mohnen,Pierre, 2001. "To Be Or Not To Be Innovative: An Exercise In Measurement," Research Memorandum 038, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  10. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-79, June.
  11. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Complementarities and systems: Understanding japanese economic organization," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42.
  12. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  14. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2002. "Complementarity in the innovation strategy: Internal R&D, external technology acquisition, and cooperation in R&D," IESE Research Papers D/457, IESE Business School.
  15. Arora, Ashish, 1996. "Testing for complementarities in reduced-form regressions: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 51-55, January.
  16. Miravete, Eugenio J. & Pernias, Jose C., 1998. "Innovation Complementarity and Scale of Production," Working Papers 98-42, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  17. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-48, September.
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