Serenella Caravella Mirko Menghini

Innovation modes and international competitiveness: the role of radical innovations

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In this paper, we analyze the impact of distinct innovation strategies (modes) on firms’ export dynamics. Focusing on the Italian case, the econometric exercise is performed by making use of an original database where data from the Community Innovation Survey (from the 2010-2012 and 2012-2014 waves) are combined together with information provided by the European database of patent applications and trademarks registration. The analysis is made by two steps. First, we perform a cluster analysis on a set of innovation-related variables in order to identify different innovative profiles among the service and manufacturing 4,792 enterprises forming the sample. Second, we carry out a Gibrat-like growth model where the dependent variable is represented by the 2014-2012 logarithmic difference of the percentage of turnover sourcing from exporting activities, and the core regressor are the distinct 2010-2012 innovation modes retrieved from the clustering exercise. Our findings show that, related to not innovation-oriented firms, the only companies receiving an export-growth premium from innovation are those who follow the most complicated innovation strategies, to which many innovation-related variables converge. On the contrary, the simpler modes do not appear themselves to positively influence firms’ export dynamics. This arises relevant policy implications that are discussed in the conclusive part.


  • Innovation Modes
  • Firms’
  • Heterogeneity
  • Export Performances


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