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How Innovative Are Canadian Firms Compared to Some European Firms? A Comparative Look at Innovation Surveys

Listed author(s):
  • Pierre Mohnen
  • Pierre Therrien

This paper investigates the comparability of the 1999 Canadian Survey of Innovation with the European Community Innovation Surveys for 1997/1998 (CIS2). Four European countries are compared to Canada: France, Germany, Ireland, and Spain. Differences in terms of design and implementation of the survey and formulation of the questionnaire are pointed out. Proposals are made to harmonize the two datatsets and make them comparable as much as possible. Different innovation indicators -- percentage of innovators, sale of innovative products show different results across countries. Canada leads the pack by far if we consider the percentage of innovating firms in the respective country samples, however it ranks last if we consider the share in sales of innovative products. Canada, Germany and Ireland seem to be relatively similar regarding the percentage of first-innovators (a narrower definition of innovation). France and Spain lag behind in this regard but seem to have a high intensity of first-innovators among the innovators. Results also show some common trends for all countries studied. Firms in high-tech sectors are more frequently innovative and reach a greater share of revenue from innovation than firms in other sectors. Large firms are more often innovative but size is not always a good predictor for the percentage of revenue from innovation. Cette étude examine à quel point l'enquête innovation canadienne de 1999 et les enquêtes communautaires européennes d'innovation CIS2 de 1997/1998 sont comparables. Quatre pays européens sont comparés au Canada: la France, l'Allemagne, l'Irlande et l'Espagne. Nous faisons ressortir des différences dans la réalisation de l'enquête et la formulation du questionnaire. Nous proposons des façons d'harmoniser les données pour les rendre aussi comparables que possible. Les performances entre pays diffèrent suivant l'indicateur retenu. Le Canada est loin en tête sur base du pourcentage d'innovateurs,0501s se classe en dernière position sur base du chiffre d'affaires en produits innovants. Le Canada est à peu près à égalité avec l'Allemagne et l'Irlande pour ce qui est du pourcentage d'innovateurs dans le sens plus strict d'une première sur le marché. La France et l'Espagne sont moins performantes à cet égard,0501s pas dans la proportion d'innovateurs au sens strict parmi les innnovateurs au sens large. A côté de ces differences se dressent aussi des régularités, telles qu'une plus grande propension à innover dans les enterprises des secteurs high-tech ou de grande taille. La part du chiffre d'affaires en produits innovants est également plus élevée pour les firmes des secteurs de haute technologie0501s pas nécessairement pour les grandes firmes.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2001s-49.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2001
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2001s-49
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  1. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2001. "To Be or Not To Be Innovative: An Exercise in Measurement," NBER Working Papers 8644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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