IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Appropriability, Technological Opportunity, Market Demand, and Technical Change - Empirical Evidence from Switzerland

  • Harabi, Najib

The purpose of this paper is to analyze both theoretically and empirically those factors which underlay the - empirically observable - inter-industry differences in technical progress. At the theoretical level economists agree more and more that technical progress can be explained at the industry level by the following three factors: (1) the technological opportunities, (2) the appropriability conditions, meaning the ability to capture and protect the results of technical innovations and (3) the market demand conditions. The basic theoretical model was tested with the help of two sets of Swiss data. One set was made available by Swiss Federal Office of Statistics and consists of quantitative information on R&D expenditures, R&D personnel, total employment and sales figures for 124 (4-digit SIC) industries for the year 1986. The second set was derived from a survey I carried out in the summer of 1988. 940 industry experts were approached; 358 of them, or 38%, covering 127 industries, completed the questionnaire. The items on the questionnaire were related to the two supply-side determinants of technical progress - items (1) and (2) above. For the empirical specification of the theoretical model, technical progress (as the dependent variable) was measured by three indicators: an output indicator, representing the introduction rate of innovations since 1970; two input indicators, "share of R&D expenditures in sales" and "share of R&D personnel in total employment". All data were aggregated at the industry-level (4-digit SIC). Three equations were estimated individually, using the OLS, GLS and Tobit methods. The most important results of the empirical analysis can be summarized as follows: - The ability to appropriate the results of innovations exerts a positive impact on technical progress in all three models. In this context, the non-patent related means of appropriability "secrecy", "lead time", "moving downward on the learning curve" and "superior sales and service efforts" prove to be more important for the innovation process than the means "patents to protect against imitation" and "patents to secure royalty income". - Of all external sources of technological opportunities, domestic and foreign university research makes the largest quantitative and statistically most significant contribution to technical progress. -Science (i.e. education in 14 science fields) is on the whole relevant for technical progress. But its contribution to technical progress would increase, if at the R&D level its application could be better targeted. - Of the six fields of basic science, only in mathematics and in theoretical computer science is education relevant for technical progress. - The relevance of education and training in the applied sciences for technical progress is high and significant in the fields of medical science and electronics. - The impact of sales as an indicator for market demand is negative. Industries with relatively low sales are relatively more innovative than those with a higher level of sales.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26221.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26221
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:93:y:1979:i:3:p:395-410 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Levin, Richard C, 1986. "A New Look at the Patent System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 199-202, May.
  4. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  5. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1989. "The timing of innovation: Research, development, and diffusion," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 849-908 Elsevier.
  6. Levin, Richard C, 1978. "Technical Change, Barriers to Entry, and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 45(180), pages 347-61, November.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:94:y:1980:i:2:p:429-36 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Richard Levin & Peter C. Reiss, 1984. "Tests of a Schumpeterian Model of R&D and Market Structure," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 175-208 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Levin, Richard C, 1988. "Appropriability, R&D Spending, and Technological Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 424-28, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26221. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.