Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non-R&D-intensive industries? An application to export performance
The paper deals with the role of innovative activities in small, non-R&D performing firms which belong mainly to 'supplier dominated' industries and, to a lesser extent, to 'specialised suppliers'. After describing the type and extent of non-R&D innovation inputs for a sample of Italian manufacturing firms, their export behaviour and performance are analysed by means of Tobit, Probit and truncate regressions. The results show that the probability of being an exporter is affected positively (as far as an upper threshold) by the size of a firm and negatively by its nature as a sub-contractor conversely, innovative activities and especially the amount of expenditure on design, engineering and pre-production developments exert a significant and positive impact on the share of exports on sales.
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