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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Crespi & Mario Pianta, 2008. "Demand and innovation in productivity growth," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 655-672.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:6:p:655-672
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170802407429

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    2. Frank Leung & Gaofeng Han & Kevin Chow, 2009. "Financial Services Sector as a Driver of Productivity Growth in Hong Kong," Working Papers 0914, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
    3. Francesco Bogliacino & Matteo Lucchese & Mario Pianta, 2011. "Job creation in business services: innovation, demand, polarisation," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2011-04, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    4. Bogliacino, Francesco & Pianta, Mario, 2010. "Innovation and Employment: a Reinvestigation using Revised Pavitt classes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 799-809, July.
    5. Antonelli, Cristiano & Gehringer, Agnieszka, 2015. "Knowledge externalities and demand pull: The European evidence," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 608-631.
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    7. Antonelli Cristiano & Gehringer Agnieszka, 2013. "Demand pull and technological flows within innovation systems: the intra-European evidence," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201303, University of Turin.
    8. Storm, Servaas. & Naastepad, C.W.M., 2012. "Wage-led or profit-led supply : wages, productivity and investment," ILO Working Papers 994709303402676, International Labour Organization.
    9. Dario Guarascio & Mario Pianta & Francesco Bogliacino, 2016. "Export, R&D and new products. a model and a test on European industries," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 869-905, October.
    10. Francesco Macheda, 2018. "The illusion of patient capital: evidence from pension investment policy in the Netherlands," Working Papers 0029, ASTRIL - Associazione Studi e Ricerche Interdisciplinari sul Lavoro.
    11. Rinaldo Evangelista & Maria Savona, 2010. "Innovation and Employment in Services," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Innovation and Services, chapter 16 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Waheed, Abdul, 2011. "Innovation and firm-level productivity: econometric evidence from Bangladesh and Pakistan," MERIT Working Papers 061, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    13. Bogliacino, Francesco & Lucchese, Matteo & Pianta, Mario, 2013. "Job creation in business services: Innovation, demand, and polarisation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 95-109.
    14. Evangelista, Rinaldo & Vezzani, Antonio, 2010. "The economic impact of technological and organizational innovations. A firm-level analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1253-1263, December.
    15. Filippetti, Andrea & Archibugi, Daniele, 2011. "Innovation in times of crisis: National Systems of Innovation, structure, and demand," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 179-192, March.
    16. Millemaci, Emanuele & Ofria, Ferdinando, 2016. "Supply and demand-side determinants of productivity growth in Italian regions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 138-146.
    17. Todo, Yasuyuki & Matous, Petr & Inoue, Hiroyasu, 2016. "The strength of long ties and the weakness of strong ties: Knowledge diffusion through supply chain networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1890-1906.
    18. Valeria Cirillo & Mario Pianta & Leopoldo Nascia, 2015. "The Dynamics of Skills: Technology and Business Cycles," LEM Papers Series 2015/30, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    19. Prajogo, Daniel I., 2016. "The strategic fit between innovation strategies and business environment in delivering business performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(P2), pages 241-249.
    20. Bogliacino, Francesco & Pianta, Mario, 2011. "Engines of growth. Innovation and productivity in industry groups," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 41-53, February.
    21. Francesco Crespi & Mario Pianta, 2008. "Diversity in innovation and productivity in Europe," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 529-545, August.
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    24. Matteo Lucchese, 2011. "Innovation, demand and structural change in Europe," Working Papers 1109, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2011.
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