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The Catalysing Role of In-House R&D in Fostering the Complementarity of Innovative Inputs

  • Catozzella, Alessandra

    ()

    (University of Pavia)

  • Vivarelli, Marco

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

The aim of this study is to test the possible catalysing role of in-house R&D in fostering the complementarity of innovative inputs on a sample of 3045 manufacturing firms drawn from the third Italian Community Innovation Survey (1998-2000). The interactions between four different sources of innovation – internal and external R&D, embodied and disembodied technological acquisitions – have been simultaneously explored through the two (direct and indirect) testing frameworks for complementarity. Results from both the approaches show that the innovative process is a phenomenon combining within itself both complementarity and substitutability relationships, depending both on the typology of the targeted innovation output and on the particular combination of innovative inputs we focus on. In particular, it is in-house R&D that seems to create the precondition allowing firms to enjoy complementarity effects. Indeed, the possibility of exploiting synergies between different innovative inputs turns out to be subordinated to having undertaken a minimum amount of internal R&D. The implication of this result is that a role for in-house R&D emerges, beyond its direct effect in generating an innovative output: even if internal research is not a necessary precondition for a firm to be innovative, it should still be carried out because of its important role in the generation of synergies that amplify the impacts of the other innovative inputs it interacts with.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3126.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industry and Innovation, 2014, 21, 179-196
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3126
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  1. Claudio A. Piga & Marco Vivarelli, 2003. "Internal and External R&D: A Sample Selection Approach," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  2. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation And Productivity: An Econometric Analysis At The Firm Level," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 115-158.
  3. Arora, Ashish, 1996. "Testing for complementarities in reduced-form regressions: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 51-55, January.
  4. Beneito, Pilar, 2003. "Choosing among alternative technological strategies: an empirical analysis of formal sources of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 693-713, April.
  5. Andrea Conte & Marco Vivarelli, 2006. "One or Many Knowlede Production Functions? Mapping Innovative Activity Using Microdata," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  6. Piva, Mariacristina & Vivarelli, Marco, 2007. "Corporate Skills as an Ex-Ante Incentive to R&D Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 2562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2002. "Complementarity in the Innovation Strategy: Internal R&D, External Technology Acquisition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  9. C. Piga & M. Vivarelli, 2003. "Sample selection in estimating the determinants of cooperative R&D," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 243-246.
  10. Jacques Mairesse & Pierre Mohnen, 2002. "Accounting for Innovation and Measuring Innovativeness: An Illustrative Framework and an Application," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 226-230, May.
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