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Firm Characteristics, Location and Regional Innovation: A Comparison Between Israeli and German Industrial Firms

  • Amnon Frenkel
  • Daniel Shefer
  • Knut Koschatzky
  • Gunter Walter
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    In recent years, a growing number of researchers have been attempting to gain a better understanding of the variation in the rate of spatial innovation of different industrial plants. Several of these studies have investigated the similarity and dissimilarity of spatial innovation between countries. This paper reports the results of a large study carried out jointly by a team of researchers from Germany and Israel. In Germany, the study focused on Baden, the western part of the state of Baden-Wurttemberg; and in Israel, on the Northern district. Altogether in both countries, more than 400 industrial plants belonging to the fastest-growing industrial branches (electronics, metals and plastics) were included in the study. The use of simple statistical models, augmented by multi-variate logit models, enabled us to point out the similarity and dissimilarity in spatial innovation patterns in the two countries. The results support the hypothesis that expenditure on R&D is a good surrogate for the percentage of innovative firms among all firms in its sector, regardless of the industrial branch to which the plants belong. In general, we can conclude that there exists a strong similarity in the frequency of industrial innovation in both countries and that the share of innovative firms in the high-tech industries is significantly higher than in the traditional industries. On the other hand, the distribution of spatial variations in the share of innovative firms in Israel is greater than that found in Germany. Dans les annees recentes, un nombre croissant de chercheurs ont essaye de mieux comprendre la variation de l'innovation geographique des divers etablissements industriels. Plusieurs etudes ont examine la similarite et la difference de l'innovation geographique suivant le pays. Cet article cherche a presenter les resultats qui proviennent d'une etude detaillee conjointement faite par une equipe de chercheurs allemands et israeliens. En Allemagne, l'etude a porte sur Baden, la partie ouest de l'etat de Baden-Wurttemburg, et en Isra�l, elle a focalise sur la region du nord. Les deux pays confondus, on a inclus plus de 400 etablissements industriels des secteurs industriels en pleine expansion (electronque, metaux et plastiques). L'emploi des mode les statistiques simples, augmentes par des modeles du type logit a variantes multiples, a permis de signaler la similarite et la difference de la distribution de l'innovation geographique dans les deux pays. Les resultats viennent a l'appui de l'hypothese suivant: la depense pour la R et D remplace efficacement le pourcentage des entreprises innovatrices d'un secteur donne, quel que soit le secteur d'activite en question. D'une maniere generale, on peut conclure qu'il existe une similarite forte quant a la frequence de l'innovation industrielle dans les deux pays, et que la proportion des entreprises innovatrices au sein des industries de pointe s'avere nettement superieure a ce qu'elle ne l'est dans les industries traditionnelles. En outre, la distribution de la variation geographique de la part des entreprises innovatrices situees en Isra�l est superieure a ce que l'on n'avait trouve en Allemagne. In den letzten Jahren hat eine wachsende Anzahl Forscher sich um ein besseres Verstandis fur Schwankungen in der Rate raumlicher Innovation in verschiedenen Industriebetrieben bemuht. Einige dieser Studien haben Ahnlichkeiten und Abweichungen raumlicher Innovation zwischen Landern untersucht. Dieser Aufsatz berichtet uber die Ergebnisse einer gross angelegten Untersuchung, die von einer Forschungsgruppe aus Deutschland und Israel gemeinsam durchgefuhrt wurde. In Deutschland konzentrierte man sich auf Baden, den westlichen Teil des Landes Baden-Wurttemberg, und in Israel auf den nordlichen Landesteil. In beiden Landern zusammen wurden uber 400 Industriebetriebe der am schnellsten wachsenden Industriezweige (Elektronik, Metalle und Plastik) in die Untersuchung einbezogen. Die Anwendung einfacher statistischer Modelle, durch mehrfach variable Logitmodelle verstarkt, gestattete der Forschungsgruppe, in beiden Landern die Ahnlichkeiten und Abweichungen bei raumlichen Innovationsmustern aufzuzeigen. Die Ergebnisse untermauern die Hypothese, dass Aufwendungen fur Forschung und Entwicklung ein guter Ersatz fur den Prozentsatz innovativer Firmen in der Gesamtzahl der Firmen in ihrem Sektor ist, ungeachtet der Industriebranche, der der Betrieb angehort. Im allgemeinen kann man folgern, dass in beiden Landern starke Ahnlichkeiten bei industrieller Innovation zu beobachten sind und dass der Anteil innovativer Firmen in den Spitzentechnologiefirmen bedeutend hoher ist als in den am Alten festhaltenden Firmen. Die Verteilung der raumlichen Schwankungen am Anteil innovativer Firmen ist jedoch grosser in Israel als in Deutschland.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 415-429

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:35:y:2001:i:5:p:415-429
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