2020 / Corrocher N., G. Cecere and M. L. Mancusi

Financial constraints and public funding of eco-innovation: Empirical evidence from European SMEs

Small Business Economics, Vol. 54, 285-302
Financial constraints have an important impact on the development of eco-innovations but their effect varies according to the type of funding. This article studies the interaction between public funding on the one hand, and internal and external lack of funding on the other. The empirical analysis is based on a sample of European small- and medium-sized enterprises, and exploits information on firms’ involvement in eco-innovation activities, their drivers, and obstacles. Our results show that, even accounting for demand-pull effects and regulatory interventions, access to public funds and fiscal incentives is effective for improving the firm’s ability to introduce eco-innovations, particularly if the company has ample funds from either internal or external sources. Our findings suggest also that public funding is perceived by firms as complementary to other external finance.
2019 / Smrkolj, G. and F. Wagener

Research among copycats: R&D, spillovers, and feedback strategies

International Journal of Industrial Organization, Vol. 65, 82-120
We study a stochastic dynamic game of process innovation in which firms can initiate and terminate R&D efforts and production at different times. We discern the impact of knowledge spillovers on the investments in existing markets, as well as on the likely structure of newly forming markets, for all possible asymmetries in production costs between firms. While an increase in spillovers may improve the likelihood of a competitive market, it may at the same time reduce the level to which a technology is developed. We show that the effects of spillovers on investments and surpluses crucially depend on the stage of technology development considered. In particular, we show that high spillovers are not necessarily pro-competitive as they can make it harder for the laggard to catch up with the technology leader.
2019 / Dawid H., P. Harting and S. van der Hoog

Manager Remuneration, Share Buybacks and Firm Performance

Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 28, 681-706
Using a dynamic heterogeneous agent industry model, we examine the impact of manager remuneration schemes on firms’ investment decisions and on the evolution of their competitiveness and share values. Whereas an increase in the share-based manager remuneration component is always beneficial to the manager, it is beneficial for shareholders only if such a change in the remuneration scheme is adopted by all firms in the industry. In that case, productivity growth is slowed down and workers’ real wages are reduced.
2019 / van der Hoog, S.

Surrogate Modelling in (and of) Agent-Based Models: A Prospectus

Computational Economics, Springer, Society for Computational Economics, Vol. 53(3), 1245-1263
A very timely issue for economic agent-based models (ABMs) is their empirical estimation. This paper describes a line of research that could resolve the issue by using machine learning techniques, using multi-layer artificial neural networks (ANNs), or so called Deep Nets. The seminal contribution by Hinton et al. (Neural Comput 18(7):1527–1554, 2006) introduced a fast and efficient training algorithm called Deep Learning, and there have been major breakthroughs in machine learning ever since. Economics has not yet benefited from these developments, and therefore we believe that now is the right time to apply multi-layered ANNs and Deep Learning to ABMs in economics.
2019 / Gualdi, S. and A. Mandel

Endogenous growth in production networks

Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Vol. 29(1), 91-117
We investigate the interplay between technological change and macro- economic dynamics in an agent-based model of the formation of production networks. On the one hand, production networks form the structure that determines economic dynamics in the short run. On the other hand, their evolution reflects the long-term impacts of competition and innovation on the economy. We account for process innovation via increasing variety in the input mix and hence increasing connectivity in the network. In turn, product innovation induces a direct growth of the firm’s productivity and the potential destruction of links. The interplay between both processes generates complex technological dynamics in which phases of process and product innovation successively dominate. The model reproduces a wealth of stylized facts about industrial dynamics and technological progress, in particular the persistence of heterogeneity among firms and Wright’s law for the growth of productivity within a technological paradigm. We illustrate the potential of the model for the analysis of industrial policy via a preliminary set of policy experiments in which we investigate the impact on innovators’ success of feed-in tariffs and of priority market access.
2018 / Conti C., M.L. Mancusi, R. Sestini, F. Sanna Randaccio and E. Verdolini

Transition Towards a Green Economy in Europe: Innovation and Knowledge Integration in the Renewable Energy Sector

Research Policy, Vol. 47, n. 10, 1996-2009
This paper investigates the fragmentation of the EU innovation system in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) by estimating the intensity and direction of knowledge spillovers over the years 1985–2010. We modify the original double exponential knowledge diffusion model proposed by Caballero and Jaffe (1993) to provide information on the degree of integration of EU countries’ RES knowledge bases and to assess how citation patterns changed over time. We show that EU RES inventors have increasingly built “on the shoulders of the other EU giants”, intensifying their citations to other member countries and decreasing those to domestic inventors. Furthermore, the EU strengthened its position as source of RES knowledge for the US. Finally, we show that this pattern is peculiar to RES, with other traditional (i.e. fossil-based) energy technologies and other radically new technologies behaving differently. Our results provide suggestive, but convincing evidence that the reduction in fragmentation emerged as a result of the EU support for RES taking mainly the form of demand-pull policies.
2017 / Hinloopen, J., G. Smrkolj and F. Wagener

Research and Development Cooperatives and Market Collusion: A Global Dynamic Approach

Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, Vol. 174, 567–612
We present a continuous-time generalization of the seminal research and development model of d’Aspremont and Jacquemin (Am Econ Rev 78(5):1133–1137, 1988) to examine the trade-off between the benefits of allowing firms to cooperate in research and the corresponding increased potential for product market collusion. We show the existence of a solution to the optimal investment problem using a combination of results from viscosity theory and the theory of planar dynamical systems. In particular, we show that there is a critical level of marginal cost at which firms are indifferent between doing nothing and starting to develop the technology. We find that colluding firms develop further a wider range of initial technologies, pursue innovations more quickly, and are less likely to abandon a technology. Product market collusion could thus yield higher total surplus.
2016 / Colombo L. and H. Dawid

Complementary Assets, Start-Ups and Incentives to Innovate

International Journal of Industrial Organization, Vol. 44, 177-190
We examine to what extent market conditions facilitating start-up formation affect firms' R&D investment and profits. We consider a model in which R&D efforts of an incumbent firm generate partly tacit technological know-how embodied in a key R&D employee, who might use it to form a start-up. The availability of complementary assets influences whether new firms are created and determine expected profits for start-up's founders. A large availability of complementary assets has the direct effect that the generation of start-ups is fostered. However, as a strategic effect, the incentives of incumbents to invest in R&D may be reduced because of the increased danger of knowledge loss occurring through start-up formation. We characterize the effects of an increase in the availability of complementary assets, showing that counter-intuitively there are cases in which it induces an increase in incumbents' R&D investment.
2014 / Colombo, L. and H. Dawid

Strategic Location Choice under Dynamic Oligopolistic Competition and Spillovers

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 48, 288-307
This paper investigates firms׳ optimal location choices explicitly accounting for the role of inwards and outwards knowledge spillovers in a dynamic Cournot oligopoly with firms that are heterogeneous in their ability to carry out cost-reducing R&D. Firms can either locate in an industrial cluster or in isolation. Technological spillovers are exchanged between the firms located in the cluster. It is shown that a technological leader has an incentive to locate in isolation only if her advantage exceeds a certain threshold, which is increasing in firms׳ discount rate, in industry dispersion, and in the intensity of knowledge spillovers. Scenarios are identified where although it is optimal for the technological leader to locate in isolation, from a welfare perspective it would be desirable that she locates in the cluster.
2008 / Mancusi M.L.

International Spillovers and Absorptive Capacity: A Cross-Country Cross-Sector Analysis Based on Patents and Citations

Journal of International Economics, Vol. 76, n. 2
This paper brings together the issues of knowledge spillovers and absorptive capacity, by assessing the role of prior R&D experience in enhancing a country's ability to understand and improve upon external knowledge. International spillovers are found effective in increasing innovative productivity in laggard countries, while technological leaders are a source rather than a destination of knowledge flows. Quantitative estimates of the effect of absorptive capacity on innovative performance, through knowledge spillovers, show that absorptive capacity increases the elasticity of a laggard country's innovation to international spillovers, while its marginal effect is negligible for countries at the technological frontier.
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