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The Advantages of Association: Know-How Sharing and Innovation Adoption in Four Brazilian Cities


  • Isleide Zissimos

    () (Vanderbilt University)


This paper investigates the role of social learning in the diffusion of different types of innovation in four urban areas of Brazil. A unique dataset of small sized firms in 19 economic sectors is used to show evidence that entrepreneurs who are members of trade associations (TAs) tend to adopt different types of innovation more often than entrepreneurs who are not members. This is tested against two rival hypotheses. The first controls for human capital. The second controls for policy and institutional factors, and for internal characteristics of the firms. In both cases membership to TAs is significant. This set of results is robust across different specifications and in different subsamples. In addition, the urban areas where firms are located are also significant predictors of innovation adoption, which is consistent with the literature on geographic clusters of firms. Because TA membership may be endogenous, an instrumental variable is introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Isleide Zissimos, 2015. "The Advantages of Association: Know-How Sharing and Innovation Adoption in Four Brazilian Cities," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 4(2), pages 26-63, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:csnjrn:v:4:i:2:p:26-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    2. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    3. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
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    More about this item


    innovation adoption; know-how sharing; trade associations; small firms; developing country;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes


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