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Demand and innovation in productivity growth

  • Francesco Crespi
  • Mario Pianta

The labour productivity impact of demand and innovation is investigated in this paper combining insights from the Kaldorian and Schumpeterian traditions. After a review of studies in such traditions, a general model is proposed for explaining productivity growth in European manufacturing and service industries in the late 1990s, followed by two distinct specifications for the industries oriented toward product innovation, and for those where process innovation dominates. The empirical analysis is based on the match of the SIEPI-CIS2 database developed at the University of Urbino and Eurostat Input-Output Tables at the industry level, for 22 manufacturing sectors and 10 services sectors. Six European countries are considered: Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The results show that productivity growth in European industries can be explained by a combination of technology factors and demand dynamics, confirming the complementarity of technology and demand effects. On the demand side, household consumption emerges as the most pervasive component of demand, able to stimulate greater efficiency in all manufacturing and service industries. Investment also has a role, focused however on the capital goods producing industries. On the technology side, the mechanisms of productivity growth are fundamentally different in the industries oriented towards product innovation and in those dominated by process innovation. This evidence supports the view that innovation in firms and industries can be associated to two contrasting strategies, searching either for technological competitiveness, through knowledge generation, product innovation and expansion of new markets, or aiming at greater cost competitiveness, through job reductions, labour saving investment, flexibility and restructuring.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 655-672

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:6:p:655-672
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