Firm level determinants of innovation: small firms with high potential in East Germany
Innovations in the sense of new products and production processes are crucial drivers of the economic development in advanced economies. After a phase of massive technological renewal in East Germany, characterized by much a higher rate of innovators in East than in West Germany, firms in East Germany have to compete with original innovation activities. The paper outlines the innovation activity in East and West Germany and investigates the determinants of product and process innovation within a multivariate analysis using the IAB establishment panel. The empirical study shows that firms in manufacturing industry in East Germany are quite active in innovation activities in the year 2008. As regards the share of innovative firms there are no substantial differences between East and West Germany. The regression analysis shows that R&D is a significant determinant of innovation in East and West for all types of innovation. In East Germany, further education activities for employees also show a statistically significant impact on innovation. A major difference between East and West could be found for the firm size. In East Germany size has no significant impact on innovation while in West Germany size clearly matters. Different from West Germany, small firms (10 up to 49 employees) in the East have a significantly positive impact on product innovations in the sense of market novelties.