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Small firms and R&D spillovers : Evidence from Italy

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  • David B. Audretsch
  • Marco Vivarelli

Abstract

[eng] The recent emergence, in the industrial organization literature of a wave of studies identifying small firms as being at least as innovative as their larger counterparts poses something of a paradox. Where do small firms get their knowledge generating inputs ? The purpose of this paper is to link innovative inputs to innovative outputs. This allows one to identify the extent to which spillovers exist between major sources generating new knowledge, such as the R&D laboratories of private and public firms, as well as universities, to the innovative activity of large and small enterprises. Based on 15 Italian regions over a time period of nine years, the empirical evidence suggests that, while firm R&D expenditures contribute to the generation of innovative output both for all firms and for small firms, the spillovers from universities are apparently more important for small-firm innovation than for their larger counterparts. [fre] L'apparition dans la littérature consacrée à l'organisation industrielle, de nombreuses études montrant que les PME sont au moins aussi innovantes que les grandes firmes, conduit à une question quelque peu paradoxale. D'où les PME tirent elles les facteurs générateurs de savoir ? L'objet de cet article est de lier les inputs de l'innovation à ses outputs. Cette approche permet d'évaluer l'ampleur des retombées des principales sources de nouveaux savoirs, telles que les centres de R&D privés ou publics ou les universités, sur l'activité d'innovation des petites et grandes entreprises. Les données empiriques concernant 15 régions italiennes sur une période de neuf ans, montrent que tandis que les dépenses en R&D des entreprises contribuent à l'innovation de toutes les firmes, y compris les petites, les retombées issues de recherches universitaires sont plus importantes pour les PME innovatrices que pour les grandes entreprises.

Suggested Citation

  • David B. Audretsch & Marco Vivarelli, 1994. "Small firms and R&D spillovers : Evidence from Italy," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 67(1), pages 225-237.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_1994_num_67_1_1520
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.1994.1520
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    Cited by:

    1. Burak Dindaroglu, 2011. "R&D Productivity and Firm Size in Semiconductors and Pharmaceuticals: Evidence from Citation Yields," Working Papers 1101, Izmir University of Economics.
    2. Andrea Vaona & Mario Pianta, 2008. "Firm Size and Innovation in European Manufacturing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 283-299, March.
    3. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Marco Vivarelli & Peter Voigt, 2009. "R&D in SMEs: a paradox?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 3-11, June.
    4. Autant-Bernard, Corinne, 2001. "Science and knowledge flows: evidence from the French case," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1069-1078, August.
    5. Alex Hoen, 2001. "Clusters: Determinants and Effects," CPB Memorandum 17, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    6. Harabi, N., 1995. "Channels of R & D Spillovers: An Empirical Investigation," Papers 37, Universitat Zurich - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut.
    7. Mark Rogers, 2000. "Understanding Innovative Firms: An Empirical Analysis of the GAPS," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2000n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Sotiris Karkalakos, 2011. "Identifying and Exploring Sources of Knowledge Spillovers in European Union: Evidence from Patenting Data," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 61(3-4), pages 7-25, July - De.
    9. Sam Tavassoli & Nunzia Carbonara, 2013. "The Role of Knowledge Variety and Intensity for Regional Innovative Capability - Swedish evidence," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1317, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2013.
    10. Iritié, B. G. Jean-Jacques, 2014. "Enjeux des politiques industrielles basées sur les clusters d'innovation: cas des pôles de compétitivité
      [Issues of Innovative Clusters-based Industrial Policy: Case of Pole of Competitiveness]
      ," MPRA Paper 54429, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Acs, Zoltan J. & Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila, 2002. "Patents and innovation counts as measures of regional production of new knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1069-1085, September.
    12. Massimo Cermelli & Pier Francesco Asso & Vito Pipitone, 2013. "Strategies to innovate in SMEs: analyzing the key factors of internationalization and interaction in Basque and Sicilian firms," ERSA conference papers ersa13p649, European Regional Science Association.
    13. Natário, Maria Manuela & Almeida Couto, João Pedro & Couto de Sousa, Maura Helena, 2012. "Innovation Processes of SMEs in Less Favoured Municipalities of Portugal," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 22, pages 81-103.
    14. Carbonara , Nunzia & Tavassoli, Sam, 2013. "The Role of Knowledge Heterogeneity on the Innovative Capability of Industrial Districts," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/35, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    15. Santarelli, Enrico & Piergiovanni, Roberta, 1996. "Analyzing literature-based innovation output indicators: the Italian experience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 689-711, August.
    16. Masao Nakamura & Pierre Mohnen & Cathy Hoareau, 2003. "What type of enterprise forges close links with universities and government labs? Evidence from CIS 2," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2-3), pages 133-145.
    17. Iritié, B. G. Jean Jacques, 2016. "Economic issues of innovation clusters-based industrial policy : a critical overview," EconStor Preprints 142746, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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