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Bureaucrats or Markets in Innovation Policy? – a critique of the entrepreneurial state

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Christian Sandström, Financing of Innovations, Innovation, Innovationspolitik, Karl Wennberg, Nils Karlson

Abstract

This paper takes stock of recent suggestions that the state apparatus is a central and underappreciated actor in the generation, diffusion and exploitation of innovations enhancing growth and social welfare. We contrast such a view of “the entrepreneurial state” with theories and empirical evidence of the microeconomic processes of innovation in the modern economy which focus on well-functioning markets, free entry and competition among firms, and independent entrepreneurship as central mechanisms in the creation and dissemination of innovations. In doing so, we identify several deficiencies in the notion of an entrepreneurial state by showing that (i) there is weak empirical support in the many hundreds empirical studies and related meta analyses evaluating the effectiveness of active industrial and innovative policies, that (ii) these policies do not take account of the presence of information and incentive problems which together explain why attempts to address purported market failures often result in policy failures, and that (iii) the exclusive focus on knowledge creation through R&D and different forms of firm subsidies ignores the equally important mechanisms of knowledge dissemination and creation through commercial exploitation in markets. We discuss how a more theoretically well-founded focus on the state as investing in knowledge generation and securing the conditions of free and competitive markets will lead to a more innovative economy.

Karlson, N., Sandström, C., & Wennberg, K. (2020). Bureaucrats or Markets in Innovation Policy? – A critique of the entrepreneurial state. Review of Austrian Economics, 34, 91-95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11138-020-00508-7

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Bureaucrats or Markets in Innovation Policy? – a critique of the entrepreneurial state
Artikel (med peer review)Publication
Karlson, N., Sandström, C., & Wennberg, K.
Publication year

2020

Abstract

This paper takes stock of recent suggestions that the state apparatus is a central and underappreciated actor in the generation, diffusion and exploitation of innovations enhancing growth and social welfare. We contrast such a view of “the entrepreneurial state” with theories and empirical evidence of the microeconomic processes of innovation in the modern economy which focus on well-functioning markets, free entry and competition among firms, and independent entrepreneurship as central mechanisms in the creation and dissemination of innovations. In doing so, we identify several deficiencies in the notion of an entrepreneurial state by showing that (i) there is weak empirical support in the many hundreds empirical studies and related meta analyses evaluating the effectiveness of active industrial and innovative policies, that (ii) these policies do not take account of the presence of information and incentive problems which together explain why attempts to address purported market failures often result in policy failures, and that (iii) the exclusive focus on knowledge creation through R&D and different forms of firm subsidies ignores the equally important mechanisms of knowledge dissemination and creation through commercial exploitation in markets. We discuss how a more theoretically well-founded focus on the state as investing in knowledge generation and securing the conditions of free and competitive markets will lead to a more innovative economy.

Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policy perspectives
Article (with peer review)Publication
Nyström, K.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Review of regional research.

Abstract

This paper studies the perceived difficulty of recruiting scarce competencies to rural regions. Furthermore, the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing recruitment to and better skills matching in rural regions is discussed. Based on a survey targeted to the business sections of Swedish municipalities, the results show that recruitment is perceived to be difficult in both rural and nonrural regions and that the difficulty of recruiting for the right skills results in a lack of skills matching and constitutes an obstacle to growth. Rural regions located close to urban areas can to some extent mitigate these recruitment problems, and their locations pose less of a barrier in recruitment processes compared to those of remotely located rural regions.

Which policies can help remedy recruitment problems faced in rural regions? In both rural and nonrural regions, incentives for writing off student debt and relocation support for accompanying persons and tandem recruitment are perceived to be the most promising policies. Rural regions are more receptive to the implementation of such policies. Finally, the need for flexibility and policies that can be adapted to the regional demand for labour are stressed.

Nyström, K. Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policy perspectives. Rev Reg Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10037-021-00155-

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.

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