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Innovation als Erfolgsfaktor der deutschen Industrie? Der Beitrag von Produkt- und Prozessinnovationen zu Beschäftigung und Exporten


  • Christian Rammer
  • Bettina Peters


This article investigates to what extent innovation has contributed to the development of employment growth and exporting in German manufacturing since the beginning of 2000. Using firm-level data from the Community Innovation Surveys in Europe, our results highlight that compared to other European countries German manufacturing firms have a much stronger focus on innovation activities, in particular with respect to the introduction of products new to world market. However, this lead has substantially lessened over the past decade. The introduction of new products has furthermore been associated with a gross employment growth which has been larger in German manufacturing than in other European countries. This effect is mainly driven by the replacement of existing products with new products but less so by generating additional demand and market shares. Taking the substitution of existing with new products into account, it turns out the net employment growth due to product innovation has been positive in all different phases of the business cycle in the past decade but frequently lower than in other European countries. Relative to the overall employment growth, however, the net contribution of product innovation is disproportionately high in German manufacturing. Product innovations have also been conducive to export performance in German manufacturing. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that the contribution of new products to export market performance has gradually increased in the past decade. In contrast, differences in unit labour costs have not. Dieser Beitrag untersucht die Bedeutung von Innovationen für die Beschäftigungsentwicklung und die Exporttätigkeit der deutschen Industrie seit Anfang der 2000er Jahre. Auf Basis der Ergebnisse der Innovationserhebungen der Europäischen Kommission (Community Innovation Surveys) wird gezeigt, dass die deutsche Industrie eine überdurchschnittlich starke Innovationsorientierung aufweist, insbesondere was die Einführung von Weltmarktneuheiten betrifft. Allerdings nahm der Vorsprung im vergangenen Jahrzehnt merklich ab. Von Produktinnovationen geht in der deutschen Industrie ein höherer direkter Beschäftigungseffekt aus als in anderen europäischen Ländern, der allerdings zum größten Teil auf dem Ersatz von alten Produkten durch neue und nur zu einem kleinen Teil auf der Generierung zusätzlicher Nachfrage beziehungsweise Marktanteilsgewinnen beruht. Die absoluten Nettobeschäftigungseffekte sind niedriger als in der Industrie anderer europäischer Länder, in Relation zur Gesamtbeschäftigungsveränderung jedoch von höherer Bedeutung. Der Beitrag von Produktinnovationen zum Exporterfolg der deutschen Industrie hat seit Anfang der 2000er Jahre sukzessive zugenommen und ist am aktuellen Rand (2010 bis 2012) am höchsten. Lohnkostenvorteile scheinen für die Exportleistung dagegen keine Rolle zu spielen.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Rammer & Bettina Peters, 2015. "Innovation als Erfolgsfaktor der deutschen Industrie? Der Beitrag von Produkt- und Prozessinnovationen zu Beschäftigung und Exporten," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 84(1), pages 13-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:84-1-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lefebvre, Elisabeth & Lefebvre, Louis A & Bourgault, Mario, 1998. "R&D-Related Capabilities as Determinants of Export Performance," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 365-377, June.
    2. Harrison, Rupert & Jaumandreu, Jordi & Mairesse, Jacques & Peters, Bettina, 2014. "Does innovation stimulate employment? A firm-level analysis using comparable micro-data from four European countries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 29-43.
    3. Peters, Bettina & Dachs, Bernhard & Dünser, Martina & Hud, Martin & Köhler, Christian & Rammer, Christian, 2014. "Firm growth, innovation and the business cycle: Background report for the 2014 competitiveness report," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 110577.
    4. Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
    5. Dachs, Bernhard & Peters, Bettina, 2014. "Innovation, employment growth, and foreign ownership of firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 214-232.
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    More about this item


    Innovation; employment; export; manufacturing;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance


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