22.09.2016 • 39/2016
Strong Financial Literacy could Lead to More Self-employment
The probability that a person is self-employed also depends on how much financial literacy they have. A new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association recently confirmed this correlation.
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Types of Cooperation Partners as Determinants of Innovation Failures
Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,
In this paper we analyse if specific R&D cooperation partners are related to an increase in the probability of innovation failures in terms discontinuing innovation projects. We distinguish between seven different R&D cooperation partner types, and we discriminate between product innovation failures and process innovation failures. Using German Community Innovation Survey data we find that, firstly, each type of R&D cooperation partner has a different effect on innovation failures. Secondly, we show that product innovation failures and process innovation failures are not affected in equal measure by the same type of R&D cooperation partner. Our results suggest that while R&D cooperation with public research institutes is significantly and negatively related to the probability to cancel a process innovation project, the coefficient is positive but insignificant for product innovation failures. Firms conducting partnerships with suppliers, however, run the risk of both product and process innovation failures. In turn, cooperation with competitors is positively correlated only to process innovation failures.
Cluster Policies in the Federal States of Bavaria and Thuringia: Discrepancies between Practice and Theory
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The contribution analyzes cluster policies pursued in the Federal States of Bavaria and Thuringia. The investigation is based on the exploration of government documents. In both countries cluster policy is target at strengthening competitiveness. The documents explored do not reveal an economic justification for cluster policy in the sense of eliminating market failures, e. g. externalities, information asymmetries and coordination failures. Therefore, it is unclear whether the support schemes under consideration really tie in with factors that hamper cluster evolution. Policies in both states support state-wider clusters and networks. The state-wide focus, however, might undervalue advantages of spatial proximity. As another critical point the ex-ante selection of industries or technologies eligible under cluster policy can be regarded. Despite readiness of considering new technologies etc., public administration generally suffers from a lack of information about the future development perspectives of industries and technologies. A way to mitigate the limited capability of public administration in terms of forecasting might be favoring economic support based on competition for the best concepts/projects instead of focusing on certain industries. Several support schemes offered by the Federal government in Germany are already competition-based. In Thuringia cluster policy is strongly motivated by several structural shortcomings, e. g. by the fragmented firm landscape mainly consisting of small units. Therefore, beyond cluster policy, the necessity will remain to abolish directly the structural shortcomings mentioned, especially by providing an economic environment that enhances firm growth.
Industrial Associations as a Channel of Business-Government Interactions in an Imperfect Institutional Environment: The Russian Case
IWH Discussion Papers,
International lessons from emerging economies suggest that business associations may provide an effective channel of communication between the government and the private sector. This function of business associations may become still more important in transition economies, where old mechanisms for coordinating enterprise activities have been destroyed, while the new ones have not been established yet. In this context, Russian experience is a matter of interest, because for a long time, Russia was regarded as a striking example of state failures and market failures. Consequently, the key point of our study was a description of the role and place of business associations in the presentday
Russian economy and their interaction with member companies and bodies of state
administration. Relying on the survey data of 957 manufacturing firms conducted in
2009, we found that business associations are more frequently joined by larger companies, firms located in regional capital cities, and firms active in investment and innovation. By contrast, business associations tend to be less frequently joined by business groups’ subsidiaries and firms that were non-responsive about their respective ownership structures. Our regression analysis has also confirmed that business associations are a component of what Frye (2002) calls an “elite exchange”– although only on regional and local levels. These “exchanges” imply that members of business associations, on the one hand, more actively assist regional and local authorities in social development of their regions, and on the other hand more often receive support from authorities. However, this effect is insignificant in terms of support from the federal government. In general, our results allow us to believe that at present, business associations (especially the
industry-wide and “leading” ones) consolidate the most active, advanced companies and act as collective representatives of their interests. For this reason, business associations can be regarded as interface units between the authorities and businesses and as a possible instrument for promotion of economic development.
20 years of innovation policy in East Germany – from a pure “survival support” to high-tech subsidy
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
20 Jahre Deutsche Einheit - Teil 2 -
The article uses the occasion of “20 years German re-unification” in order to provide an overview of the range of innovation policy schemes in East Germany with the intention to identify changing patterns or paradigms in its philosophy and priorities over time. In general, innovation policy schemes aim at increasing research and development (R&D) activities of companies in order to strengthen their competitiveness as market incentives for R&D are usually too low (problem of market failure). However, in East Germany in the early 1990s the situation was different. At the very beginning, the transformation process in East Germany was accompanied by innovation policy schemes that aimed at the pure maintenance of industrial research and the stock of R&D personnel since the potential for innovation was at a risk to be eliminated completely. In the late 1990s the intention of innovation policies changed. Instead of financial support primarily for human resources, innovation policy schemes since then focused on the support of cooperation projects between different research entities (companies and scientific organizations) and, later on, also the setup of networks in order to close the economic differences between East and West Germany.