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Small firms and R&D spillovers : Evidence from Italy

  • David B. Audretsch
  • Marco Vivarelli

[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.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 67 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 225-237

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Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_1994_num_67_1_1520
Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.1994.1520
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