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High-growth firms, innovation and the distance to the frontier


  • Werner Hölzl

    () (Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO))

  • Klaus Friesenbichler

    () (Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO))


This paper studies the differences in the R&D and innovation behaviour of high-growth firms for 16 EU countries. The results confirm that R&D and innovation are important characteristics for high-growth firms in countries close to the technological frontier, but not for high-growth firms in countries further away from the technological frontier.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Hölzl & Klaus Friesenbichler, 2010. "High-growth firms, innovation and the distance to the frontier," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1016-1024.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-10-00122

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Schreyer, 2000. "High-Growth Firms and Employment," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/3, OECD Publishing.
    2. Magnus Henrekson & Dan Johansson, 2010. "Gazelles as job creators: a survey and interpretation of the evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 227-244, September.
    3. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2005. "The Importance of R&D for Innovation: A Reassessment Using French Survey Data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 183-197, January.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, March.
    5. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
    6. Matthias Almus, 2002. "What characterizes a fast-growing firm?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(12), pages 1497-1508.
    7. Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 2006. "Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Scholarly Articles 4554121, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation And Productivity: An Econometric Analysis At The Firm Level," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 115-158.
    9. Bart Verspagen, 2010. "The spatial hierarchy of technological change and economic development in Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1), pages 109-132, August.
    10. Coad, Alex & Rao, Rekha, 2008. "Innovation and firm growth in high-tech sectors: A quantile regression approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 633-648, May.
    11. Werner Hölzl, 2009. "Is the R&D behaviour of fast-growing SMEs different? Evidence from CIS III data for 16 countries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 59-75, June.
    12. Alex Coad & Rekha Rao, 2010. "Firm growth and R&D expenditure," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 127-145.
    13. Luuk Klomp & George Van Leeuwen, 2001. "Linking Innovation and Firm Performance: A New Approach," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 343-364.
    14. repec:crs:wpaper:9833 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartelsman, Eric & Dobbelaere, Sabien & Peters, Bettina, 2013. "Allocation of Human Capital and Innovation at the Frontier: Firm-Level Evidence on Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 7540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Marco Capasso & Tania Treibich & Bart Verspagen, 2015. "The medium-term effect of R&D on firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 39-62, June.
    3. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Elert, Niklas & Johansson, Dan, 2010. "The Economic Contribution of High-Growth Firms: Do Definitions Matter?," Ratio Working Papers 151, The Ratio Institute.
    4. Jürgen Janger & Michael Böheim & Martin Falk & Rahel Falk & Werner Hölzl & Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig & Michael Peneder & Andreas Reinstaller & Fabian Unterlass & Gunther Tichy, 2010. "Research and Innovation Policy after the Crisis," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 15(4), pages 321-335, December.
    5. Andrei Yudanov, 2014. "High-growth LMT firms and the evolution of the Russian economy," Chapters,in: Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship in Low-Tech Industries, chapter 6, pages 117-137 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Fassio, Claudio, 2014. "Sectoral Systems or Distance-to-the-Frontier Effects in Innovation? A Comparison of Three Medium-Technology Sectors in Germany, Italy and Spain," SEP Working Papers 2014/3, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    7. David Audretsch & Agustí Segarra & Mercedes Teruel, 2014. "Why don't all young firms invest in R&D?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 751-766, December.
    8. Agustí Segarra & Mercedes Teruel, 2014. "High-growth firms and innovation: an empirical analysis for Spanish firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 805-821, December.
    9. Calza, Elisa & Goedhuys, Micheline, 2016. "Entrepreneurial heterogeneity and the design of entrepreneurship policies for economic growth and inclusive development," MERIT Working Papers 043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Amandine Pinget & Rachel Bocquet & Caroline Mothe, 2015. "Barriers to Environmental Innovation in SMEs: Empirical Evidence from French Firms," Post-Print hal-01300837, HAL.
    11. José Miguel Giner & María Jesús Santa-María & Antonio Fuster, 2017. "High-growth firms: does location matter?," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-96, March.
    12. Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Niklas Elert & Dan Johansson, 2014. "The Economic Contribution of High-Growth Firms: Do Policy Implications Depend on the Choice of Growth Indicator?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 337-365, September.
    13. Goedhuys-Degelin M.D.L. & Sleuwaegen L., 2015. "Human capital, innovation and the distribution of firm growth rates," MERIT Working Papers 013, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Fabian Unterlass, 2013. "The relationship between innovation, exports and economic performance. Empirical evidence for 21 EU countries," EcoMod2013 5655, EcoMod.
    15. Hölzl, Werner & Janger, Jürgen, 2014. "Distance to the frontier and the perception of innovation barriers across European countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 707-725.
    16. Caterina Santi & Pietro Santoleri, 2017. "Exploring the link between innovation and growth in Chilean firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 445-467, August.
    17. Werner Hölzl & Jürgen Janger, 2012. "Innovation Barriers across Firms and Countries," WIFO Working Papers 426, WIFO.
    18. Jürgen Janger & Michael Böheim & Martin Falk & Rahel Falk & Werner Hölzl & Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig & Michael Peneder & Andreas Reinstaller & Fabian Unterlass, 2010. "Research and Innovation Policies after the Crisis," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 83(8), pages 675-689, August.
    19. repec:ksa:szemle:1695 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Werner Hölzl, 2012. "Mobility Barriers and the Speed of Market Selection," WIFO Working Papers 437, WIFO.
    21. Anna-Leena Asikainen & Giovanni Mangiarotti, 2017. "Open innovation and growth in IT sector," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 11(1), pages 45-68, March.
    22. Daria Ciriaci & Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello & Peter Voigt, 2016. "Innovation and job creation: a sustainable relation?," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(2), pages 189-213, August.
    23. Hölzl, Werner & Janger, Jürgen, 2013. "Does the analysis of innovation barriers perceived by high growth firms provide information on innovation policy priorities?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 80(8), pages 1450-1468.
    24. Markéta Šeligová, 2016. "The Effects of R&D Intensity and Tax Incentives on Firms Growth of PIGS Countries," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(2), pages 53-68.

    More about this item


    R&D; high-growth firms; innovation; Europe; distance to the frontier; CIS;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior


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