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ARTICLES

2006, Voluntary technological disclosure as an efficient knowledge management device : an empirical study, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 4/5. pp. 465 – 491.

This paper investigates three questions related to endogenous information and knowledge disclosure by firms : Which industry sectors are more apt to disclose information and knowledge ? Why is such knowledge released ? Is knowledge disclosure an efficient strategy ? An empirical analysis on four French data sets that focus on appropriation, the practices of innovation, and the related payoffs suggests answers to these questions. A firm with high R&D intensity, from a high-tech sector, participating in R&D partnerships is found to be more likely to engage in disclosure. Firms in the sample were found to ‘leak’ their knowledge to public laboratories to a greater degree than to other private sector firms. Leakage also was found to be associated with improved innovation performance. This research helps broaden the literature on knowledge management practices to include not only the pursuit of formal intellectual property rights such as patents but also less formal inter-organizational knowledge transmission mechanisms.

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2008, Northern and southern innovativity : a comparison across European and Latin American countries, The European Journal of Development Research, 20(2) : 219-239. With Julio Raffo (EPFL), Luis Miotti (CEPN, Université Paris Nord)

This article compares the role of innovation and economic performance across European and Latin American countries, using firm level data from France, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. We implement a standard structural model linking R&D intensity, innovation and productivity. We find evidences revealing structural differences between Europe and Latin America, but also presence of heterogeneity in within. In particular, firms tend to face innovation activities to achieve a better economic performance in similar terms along countries, but their interaction with national systems and environments is weaker in developing countries. A heterogeneous effect of foreign subsidiaries is found regarding innovativity whereas it induces better productivity in every country.

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2009, How to play the “Names Game” : Patent retrieval comparing different heuristics. Research Policy, Elsevier.38(10) December. pp. 1617-1627. With Julio Raffo (EPFL).

Patent statistics represent a critical tool for scholars, statisticians and policy makers interested in innovation and intellectual property rights. Many analyses are based on heterogeneous methods delineating the inventors’ or firms’ patent portfolios without questioning the quality of the method employed. We assess different heuristics in order to provide a robust solution to automatically retrieve inventors in large patent datasets (PATSTAT). The solution we propose reduces the usual errors by 50% and casts doubts on the reliability of statistical indicators and micro-econometric results based on common matching procedures. Guidelines for researchers, TTOs, firms, venture capitalists and policy makers likely to implement a names game or to comment on results based on a names game are also provided.

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2009, R&D cooperation and failures in innovation projects : Empirical evidence from French CIS data, Research Policy, 38(1) January. pp. 45-57.

The second French Community Innovation Survey (CIS) indicates that 14% of R&D collaborating firms had to abandon or delay their innovation projects due to difficulties in their partnerships, an outcome which we term “cooperation failures”. Controlling for sample selection on the cooperation decision, our estimates showthat firms collaborating with competitors and public research organizations (PROs), especially when they are foreign, are more likely to delay or stop an innovation project because of difficulties encountered in their R&D partnerships. More surprisingly, firms collaborating with their suppliers also face a higher risk of “cooperation failures”. At least for PROs, firms can reduce the risk of “cooperation failures” through previous experiences in partnerships. Larger firms and group subsidiaries are less likely to face “cooperation failures”, and so do firms in industries with a strong appropriability regime.

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2010, Structural changes in corporate R&D : US and Europe. Science and Public Policy, 37(6), 401-412. With Dominique Foray (EPFL).

We analyse the structural changes that have characterised the organisation of industrial R&D over the last 25 years. Taking Mowery’s work (Industrial and Corporate Change, 2009, 18(1), 1–50) on the US as a starting point, we reconsider the different aspects of structural change he examined, discuss their impact and the overall logic underlying them. We then examine Europe to discover to what extent these structural changes have occurred in recent years. While a certain structural evolution is perceptible, it is not on the same scale as that analysed for the US. Finally, we consider the extent to which the new structures are more or less ‘efficient’ than previous ones. We conclude with the implications for R&D and innovation policy implications.

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2011, The impact of corporate governance practices on R&D efforts : a look at shareholders’ rights, cross-listing and control pyramid. Industrial and Corporate Change, 20(5). 1475-1513.

The article considers the impact of multiple shareholder-oriented governance practices on R&D decisions. Based on a sample of 5528 firms belonging to 110 large French listed business groups, our results substantiate the idea that shareholder-oriented governance practices and a lower position in a control pyramid are better for R&D investment. The introduction of any additional shareholder oriented practice is found to result in more R&D. We show, however, that this Anglo-Americanization of the French corporate governance system is only partial. We provide evidence of the co-existence of an old French system of corporate governance with a hybrid model of corporate governance. The lack of concrete results on complementarity among shareholder-oriented governance practices casts doubt on the stability of this hybrid model in the French context.

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2011, A Functional Perspective on Learning and Innovation : Investigating the Organization of Absorptive Capacity, Industry and Innovation. 18(6), 581-610 (with MARCEL BOGERS, USDanemark).

We investigate the intra-organizational antecedents of firm-level absorptive capacity (AC). Specifically, we examine how the functional areas of R&D, manufacturing and marketing contribute to the absorption of knowledge coming from different external knowledge sources. The econometric results on a representative sample of Swiss firms show that non-R&D-based AC plays a significantly different role compared to the standard R&D based one that is typically considered in studies on AC. We also reveal that AC is organized through a specialization of external knowledge absorption across functional areas. In particular, we find : (1) R&D is particularly important as an absorber of knowledge from public research organizations for product innovation ; (2) manufacturing is important as an absorber of supplier knowledge for product innovation and of competitor knowledge for process innovation, and (3) marketing helps to absorb customer knowledge for product and process innovation as well as competitors’ knowledge for product innovation. We further investigate the differences between product and process innovation and find that marketingbased AC is more important for the former, although the overall analysis of these differences is less conclusive. In short, we show how functional areas play a role in the organization of AC and that firms may need an ambidextrous strategy to innovate effectively based on both upstream- and downstream-based AC.

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2011, Absorptive capacity, efficiency effect and competitors’ spillovers, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 21(4) pp 649-663.

Standard innovation surveys do not consider incoming spillovers for non-innovative firms. As a consequence, empirical works may overestimate the absorptive capacity effect, particularly among competitors. The Swiss innovation surveys presented here measure the importance of knowledge for both innovating and non-innovating firms. This original feature enables us to show that knowledge from rivals actually deters manufacturing firms from engaging in R&D activities. We therefore provide stronger evidence that the efficiency effect due to intra-industry spillovers is larger than that generally estimated by data from standard surveys. The R&D based absorptive capacity is weaker than expected, and non-innovative firms as well as non-R&D firms heavily rely on their rivals’ knowledge to maintain their technological capacities.

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2011, Do firms know the scope of their R&D network ? An empirical investigation of network awareness on French survey data, Industry and Innovation, 18(1) January, pp. 105-130

Although research and development (R&D) networks influence the innovation performance of their members, firms may not be fully aware of the scope of their network. In particular, due to cost reasons, they may not be fully informed of their “indirect ties”, that is, of the ties between their partners and other firms. To investigate this issue, the paper uses a survey inquiring about whether firms are aware of the ties that their main direct R&D partners may (or may not) have between themselves. Our results show that responding firms are more informed about their partners’ other collaboration projects when the partnership is more directly linked to intangible R&D capital, when at least one partner is a public research organization or when the partnership is needed to access a new market. Network awareness is also higher when both R&D partners are from the same type (e.g. public research organization, companies, technical centers). Firms with a high R&D intensity or with a large size, as well as those affiliated to a group, are less likely to know their indirect ties. Finally, network awareness is lower in high-technology industries.

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2014, Marketing and persistent innovation success, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 23(5-6), 517-543.

Despite their critical role in innovation success, marketing activities are overlooked when the sources of innovation persistence are considered. Using three waves of the French CIS innovation survey covering the period 2002-2008, this paper investigates the influence of marketing activities on innovation success and in particular on persistent innovation success in high-tech industries. Our results confirm that innovation success depends on past innovation success. Innovation marketing (...)

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2015, How do firms develop capabilities for scientific disclosure ?, Research Policy, 44(7), 1283-1295 with Markus Simeth (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Many profit-oriented companies publish research outcomes in scientific literature. However, very few studies have focused on the capabilities that enable firms to engage in scientific disclosure with consequent potential benefits for the firm. We propose that specific investments are required in order to engage in scientific disclosure activities, since the disclosure process requires distinctive capabilities. This paper empirically analyses the relationship between the composition of industrial research labs’ personnel, basic research and scientific disclosure capabilities. Our econometric analysis provides evidence that scientific disclosure requires specific human resource allocations, which supports the view that scientific disclosure is not just a by-product of standard R&D activities.

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2016, Endogenous Technology Adoption and Medical Costs, Health Economics, Health Economics, 25(9) : 1123–1147.

Despite the claim that technology has been one of the most important drivers of healthcare spending growth over the past decades, technology variables are rarely introduced explicitly in cost equations. Furthermore, technology is often considered exogenous. Using 1996-2007 panel data on Swiss geographical areas, we assessed the impact of technology availability on per capita healthcare spending covered by basic health insurance while controlling for the endogeneity of health technology availability variables. Our results suggest that medical research, patent intensity and the density of employees working in the medical device industry are influential factors for the adoption of technology and can be used as instruments for technology availability variables in the cost equation. These results are similar to previous findings : CT and PET scanner adoption is associated with increased healthcare spending while increased availability of PTCA facilities is associated with reductions in per capita spending. However, our results suggest that the magnitude of these relationships is much greater in absolute value than that suggested by previous studies which did not control for the possible endogeneity of the availability of technologies

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2016, Technological contribution of MNEs to the growth of energy-greentech sector in the early post-Kyoto period, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, 18(2), 169-191

We consider the commitment of large firms with high R&D investments to the development of technologies of climate change mitigation related to the production or storage of energy. We analyze such climate change mitigation technologies focused on energy production and storage (energy CCMT) across the globe with the aim of assessing whether the Kyoto Protocol fosters the diffusion of inventive activity in energy greentech. Using patents as the key dataset, we give an empirical description of the corporate patenting activity and assess its contribution to the overall energy CCMT inventions across countries and sectors of energy greentech before and after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol (1997). Our observations indicate that climate change issues and greentech development have not been prioritized to the same extent by firms of western countries as opposed to, for example, Japanese firms in the beginning of the 2000s. However, we witness a growing commitment in most of the western countries. US large firms were more prone to gain skills in renewable energy technologies than most of their European counterparts, which continue to heavily invest in traditional energies such as Nuclear energy and Combustion.

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2016, Additionality or crowding-out ? An overall evaluation of public R&D subsidy on private R&D expenditure, Research Policy, 45(9), 1715-1730.

This study analyzes the effect of public R&D subsidies on private R&D expenditure in a sample of French firms during the period 1993-2009. We evaluate whether there is any input additionality of public R&D subsidies by distinguishing between R&D tax credit recipient and non-recipient firms. In addition, combining difference-in-differences with propensity score and exact (both simple and categorical) matching methods, we assess the effect of R&D subsidies between treated (subsidy recipients) and controls (subsidy non-recipients) as well as between differently treated (small, medium and large subsidy recipient) firms. Furthermore, we implement a dose-resp onse matching app roach to determine the optimality of public R&D subsidy provisions. We find evidence of either no additionality or substitution effects between public and private R&D expenditure. Crowding-out effects appear to be more pronounced for mediumhigh levels of public subsidies, and generally under the R&D tax credit regime. A number of robustness checks corroborate our main findings.

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2017, The determinants of cleaner energy innovations of the world’s largest firms : the impact of firm learning and knowledge capital, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, On line.

In this paper, we address the determinants of clean energy inventions by 946 large firms. We use a new set of large firms’patent portfolios and we broaden and deepen existing literature on this issue in two main ways : first, we conduct our study directly at the firm level and not at the industry or national levels and second, we do not focus on a single industry but encompass all industrial sectors. Drawing on firm (internal and external) knowledge and knowledge accumulation, we show there is a robust positive association between the (past) knowledge accumulated capital related to clean technologies and the number of inventions produced in that field, even after controlling for industry and nation fixed effects and other factors. The same relation works for (past) knowledge accumulated capital in other (non-clean) technologies. However, the relation’s impact on the number of clean inventions produced is much lower. The magnitudes of our coefficient are in line with that obtained previously on firms in the auto-industry or at the sectoral level.

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2017, Measuring Creativity : Learning from Innovation Measurement in H. Bathelt, P. Cohendet, S. Henn, L. Simon, Eds. The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation : A Multi-Disciplinary Approach, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming

There is a growing interest in broadening the measurement scope of innovation to consider “creative” activities, suggesting that the usual indicators of innovation satisfy neither scholars nor policy makers. Conceptually, there is little difference between innovative and creative activity. However, it is difficult to know to what extent the current measures that capture innovation are relevant for creativity. Can the new measures for creativity benefit from the experience accumulated through R&D and innovation ? Our article provides insights and lessons learned from using measures of innovative activities for scholars who are interested in capturing creative activities. We underscore the difficulties faced when measuring innovation and draw some parallels between these difficulties and the efforts undertaken to measure creativity.

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2017, Technological Innovation, Organizational Change and Product Related Services, M@n@gement (Forthcoming).

The literature regarding the determinants of servitization emphasizes the role of organizational change and usually overlooks the role of technological change. Using an original sample of 1,129 German manufacturing firms, we reverse the hierarchy : product novelty is a main driver of product related service activities. It especially boosts consulting and training services. The structure of the PRS portfolio is depending on product novelty. Organizational changes towards a more flexible company or the adoption of new advanced manufacturing processes are found, with few exceptions, to hardly influence the decision to offer a product-related service. However, our results suggest that process innovation is positively linked to the breadth of service surrounding products, whereas organizational innovation is more prone to lead to a larger breadth of services surrounding customer offerings. Product, process and organizational innovation are not found to be complementary drivers of product-related service offerings.

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2017, Open Product and Process Innovation : The Complementary Roles of R&D, Manufacturing and Marketing in External Knowledge Sourcing », in Satish Nambisan editor. Open Innovation, Ecosystems and Entrepreneurship : Issues and Perspectives, World Scientific Publishing. (forthcoming).

We unpack the black box of open innovation, external knowledge search in particular, by showing how firms use not only R&D but also manufacturing and marketing for external knowledge sourcing for product and process innovation. Our econometric model reveals that the inverted U-shaped relationships found by Laursen and Salter (2006) for external search breadth hold for all functional areas but those for external search depth hold only for R&D-based search aiming at product innovation. In every case, we find that observed firms’ breadth sub-optimal. We also find sub-optimality for search depth : the optimal depth level is the maximum for marketing-based and manufacturing-based searches. We also specifically show that marketing is the dominant base for external sourcing for product innovation, and manufacturing is the dominant base for external sourcing for process innovation. Finally, we find strong complementarities among the roles of the three functional areas, which suggests that firms develop different absorptive capacities at the same time and do not substitute one for another

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