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A revised perspective on innovation policy for renewal of mature economies – Historical evidence from finance and telecommunications in Sweden 1980–1990

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Christian Sandström, Christofer Laurell, Företagandets villkor, Innovation, Jerker Moodysson, Mirko Ernkvist, Rasmus Nykvist

Abstract

What is the role of innovation policy for accomplishing renewal of mature industries in Western economies? Drawing upon an unusually rich dataset spanning 9752 digitized archival documents, we categorize and code decisions taken by policymakers on several levels while also mapping and quantifying the strategic activities of both entrant firms and incumbent monopolists over a decade. Our data concerns two empirical cases from Sweden during the time period 1980–1990: the financial sector and the telecommunications sector. In both industries, a combination of technological and institutional upheaval came into motion during this time period which in turn fueled the revitalization of the Swedish economy in the subsequent decades. Our findings show that Swedish policymakers in both cases consistently acted in order to promote the emergence of more competition and de novo entrant firms at the expense of established monopolies. The paper quantifies and documents this process while also highlighting several enabling conditions. In conclusion, the results indicate that successful innovation policy in mature economies is largely a matter of strategically dealing with resourceful vested interest groups, alignment of expectations, and removing resistance to industrial renewal.

Eriksson, K., Ernkvist, M., Laurell, C., Moodysson, J., Nykvist, R. & Sandström, C. (2019). A revised perspective on innovation policy for renewal of mature economies – Historical evidence from finance and telecommunications in Sweden 1980–1990. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 147, 152-162. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2019.07.001.

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A revised perspective on innovation policy for renewal of mature economies – Historical evidence from finance and telecommunications in Sweden 1980–1990
Artikel (med peer review)Publication
Eriksson, K., Ernkvist, M., Laurell, C., Moodysson, J., Nykvist, R. & Sandström, C.
Publication year

2019

Abstract

What is the role of innovation policy for accomplishing renewal of mature industries in Western economies? Drawing upon an unusually rich dataset spanning 9752 digitized archival documents, we categorize and code decisions taken by policymakers on several levels while also mapping and quantifying the strategic activities of both entrant firms and incumbent monopolists over a decade. Our data concerns two empirical cases from Sweden during the time period 1980–1990: the financial sector and the telecommunications sector. In both industries, a combination of technological and institutional upheaval came into motion during this time period which in turn fueled the revitalization of the Swedish economy in the subsequent decades. Our findings show that Swedish policymakers in both cases consistently acted in order to promote the emergence of more competition and de novo entrant firms at the expense of established monopolies. The paper quantifies and documents this process while also highlighting several enabling conditions. In conclusion, the results indicate that successful innovation policy in mature economies is largely a matter of strategically dealing with resourceful vested interest groups, alignment of expectations, and removing resistance to industrial renewal.

The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector
Article (with peer review)Publication
Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Energies, 14(14), 4269.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to establish if Marshallian and Jacobian knowledge spillovers affect job creation in the green energy sector. Whether these two effects exist is important for the number of jobs created in related fields and jobs pushed away in other sectors. In the analysis, the production efficiency, in terms of jobs and job spillovers, from inventions in solar, wind and energy efficiency, is explored through data envelopment analysis (DEA), based on the Malmquist productivity index, and tobit regression. A panel dataset of American and European firms over the period of 2002–2017 is used. The contribution to the literature is to show the role of the spillovers from the same technology sector (Marshallian externalities), and of the spillovers from more diversified activity (Jacobian externalities). Since previous empirical evidence concerning the innovation effects on the production efficiency is yet weak, the paper attempts to bridge this gap. The empirical findings suggest negative Marshallian externalities, while Jacobian externalities have no statistical impact on the job creation process. The findings are of strategic importance for governments who are developing industrial strategies for renewable energy.

Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P. (2021). The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector. Energies, 14(14), 4269.

An Anatomy of Failure – Wind Power Development in China
Article (with peer review)Publication
Grafström, J.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

China is currently the world’s largest installer of wind power. However, with twice the installed wind capacity compared to the United States in 2015, the Chinese produce less power. The question is: Why is this the case? This article shows that Chinese grid connectivity is low, Chinese firms have few international patents, and that export is low even though production capacity far exceeds domestic production needs. Using the tools of Austrian economics, China’s wind power development from 1980 to 2016 is documented and analyzed from three angles: (a) planning and knowledge problems, (b) unproductive entrepreneurship, and (c) bureaucracy and government policy. From a theoretical standpoint, both a planning problem and an entrepreneurial problem are evident where governmental policies create misallocation of resources and a hampering of technological development.

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