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From creativity to innovativeness: micro evidence from Italy

  • Roberto Antonietti

    ()

In this paper I assess the existence, and the magnitude, of technological externalities in the form of creativity spillovers that affect individual firms' innovative intensity. Relying on a large sample of Italian manufacturing firms, I first estimate a knowledge production function through a zero-inflated beta regression model and a generalized Tobit model. From these, I extract the residuals, which represent the unexplained part of the actual observed share of innovative sales, namely innovativeness. Then, I regress such a measure of firm innovativeness on a set of occupation-based, as well as density-based, indicators of creativity at the NUTS3 level, while controlling for firm localization, size and industry. I also control for endogeneity and non-linearity by estimating a two-stage least squares model and a generalized additive model respectively. My estimates show that: (i) there is a positive and highly statistically significant effect of creativity on innovativeness; (ii) the effect of creativity on actual innovative sales is weak, while I find a stronger effect played by the availability of R&D labour within the firm; (iii) occupation-based measures of creativity outperform education-based measures of human capital; (iv) when controlling for the education content of jobs, firms' innovativeness is affected more by the local availability of non-graduated creative workers than of graduated ones; (v) rather, relying on NUTS3 regional data, I find that a higher local availability of graduated creative workers affects the invention intensity of a city; (vi) the relationship between firm innovativeness and the local density of creative people is U-shaped, so that proximity-based knowledge externalities emerge only after a certain density threshold is reached, this occurring typically in larger urban areas, typically hosting design and service-based creative industries. From the policy point of view, increasing the availability of creative jobs and people can help regions and cities to be more innovative, especially in the absence of large R&D departments and formal agreements with external partners. In this respect, my results are in line with the literature on innovative milieux, where social learning phenomena, rather than formal R&D activities, help explaining the processes of knowledge creation and diffusion within and between firms, clusters and territories. Keywords: creativity; innovativeness; innovative sales; knowledge production function; proportions JEL: L60; O31; R10 Please do consider the paper for these two alternative Special Sessions: ZS. SS and ZC.SS

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa12p423.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p423
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  1. Charlotta Mellander & Richard Florida, 2011. "Creativity, talent, and regional wages in Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 637-660, June.
  2. Patrick Cohendet & David Grandadam & Laurent Simon, 2010. "The Anatomy of the Creative City," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 91-111.
  3. 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.
  4. Enrico E. Bertacchini & Paola Borrione, 2013. "The Geography of the Italian Creative Economy: The Special Role of the Design and Craft-based Industries," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 135-147, February.
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  9. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2011. "Education or just Creativity: what matters most for economic performance?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p199, European Regional Science Association.
  10. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  11. Pierre Mohnen & Jacques Mairesse & Marcel Dagenais, 2006. "Innovativity: A comparison across seven European countries," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 391-413.
  12. Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Human Capital Externalities in Cities," NBER Working Papers 9641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sam Youl Lee & Richard Florida & Zoltan Acs, 2004. "Creativity and Entrepreneurship: A Regional Analysis of New Firm Formation," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 879-891.
  14. Daria Ciriaci, 2011. "Design and European firms’ innovative performance: A less costly innovation activity for European SMEs?," JRC-IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2011-08, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre.
  15. Ann Markusen, 2006. "Urban development and the politics of a creative class: evidence from a study of artists," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(10), pages 1921-1940, October.
  16. Andrea Conte, 2009. "Mapping innovative activity using microdata," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(18), pages 1795-1799.
  17. Nathan, Max, 2007. "The Wrong Stuff? Creative Class Theory and Economic Performance in UK Cities," MPRA Paper 29486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Learning in Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1814, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Florida, Richard & Mellander, Charlotta & Stolarick, Kevin, 2007. "Inside the Black Box of Regional Development - human capital, the creative class and tolerance," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 88, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
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  28. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
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  31. repec:fth:inseep:9833 is not listed on IDEAS
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