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Innovation in New Zealand: Issues of Firm Size, Local Market Size and Economic Geography

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Abstract

In this paper we report empirical evidence from a mixed methods approach to investigating the drivers of innovation in New Zealand. The evidence comes from a primary questionnaire survey we conducted across seventy-five local firms plus fifteen face-to-face case study interviews. Our survey response data is analysed using four different types of probability models and the various models are all found to be largely consistent with each other. The insights from these estimation methods are then bolstered by detailed follow-up case studies of individual firms in different industries and product groups regarding their innovation and competition experiences. Our results from both forms of evidence-gathering suggest that in a small and isolated local market such as New Zealand, smallness in terms of firm size may not be an advantage for innovation. The reason appears to be that the notion of ‘small’ itself may have an absolute minimum threshold, below which translating entrepreneurship into innovation becomes problematic. As such, applying theories of local economic development to local economies which exhibit similar features to New Zealand may require us to adjust our thinking in order to take account of different absolute scale effects in different types of economies.

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  • Philip McCann & Les Oxley & Hong Shangqin, 2009. "Innovation in New Zealand: Issues of Firm Size, Local Market Size and Economic Geography," Working Papers in Economics 09/04, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:09/04
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    File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/0904.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Law & Nathan McLellan, 2005. "The Contributions from Firm Entry, Exit and Continuation to Labour Productivity Growth in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/01, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-690, September.
    3. Lewis Evans & Arthur Grimes & Bryce Wilkinson, 1996. "Economic Reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The Pursuit of Efficiency," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1856-1902, December.
    4. Zoltán J. Ács, 2002. "Innovation and the Growth of Cities," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2656.
    5. Richard B. Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2007. "Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 383-399, December.
    6. Philip McCann, 2009. "Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand's productivity paradox," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 279-314.
    7. Tether, B. S. & Smith, I. J. & Thwaites, A. T., 1997. "Smaller enterprises and innovation in the UK: the SPRU innovations database revisited," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-32, March.
    8. Roper, Stephen & Hewitt-Dundas, Nola, 2008. "Innovation persistence: Survey and case-study evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 149-162, February.
    9. Ron Crawford & Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes & Nick Bonner, 2007. "National R&D and Patenting: Is New Zealand an Outlier?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 69-90.
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    1. METAXAS, Theodore, 2011. "Territorial Assets And Firms’ Competitiveness In Southern Europe: Industrial Vs Commercial Firms Using Exploratory Factor Analysis," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(1).
    2. Metaxas, Theodore & Kallioras, Dimitris, 2013. "Small and medium-sized firms' competitiveness and territorial characteristics/assets: The cases of Bari, Varna and Thessaloniki," MPRA Paper 52446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Metaxas, Theodore & Economou, Athina, 2012. "Assessing the determinants of Firms’ Competitiveness in Greece: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis," MPRA Paper 42794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alsharkas Zeina, 2014. "Firm Size, Competition, Financing and Innovation," International Journal of Management and Economics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 44(1), pages 51-73, December.
    5. David Deakins & David North & Jo Bensemann, 2015. "Paradise lost? The case of technology-based small firms in New Zealand in the post-global financial crisis economic environment," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1-2), pages 129-150, April.
    6. Metaxas, Theodore & Duquenne, Marie Noelle, 2015. "Small and Medium Sized Firms’ Competitiveness and Territorial Characteristics by using a MLR approach," MPRA Paper 66848, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Theodore METAXAS & Athina ECONOMOU, 2016. "Assesing The Determinantts Of Firms’ Competitiveness In Greece: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysys," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 17, pages 91-113, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; New Zealand; SME; Economic Geography;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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