Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2015/6: Knowledge base combinations and innovation performance in Swedish regions

Markus Grillitsch (), Roman Martin () and Martin Srholec ()
Additional contact information
Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University
Roman Martin: CIRCLE, Lund University
Martin Srholec: CIRCLE, Lund University & CERGE-EI, Charles University and Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Abstract: The literature on geography of innovation suggests that innovation outcomes depend on the type of knowledge base employed by firms. While knowledge bases are distinct categories with regards to the nature and the rational of knowledge creation, existing studies also stress that innovation usually involves more than one knowledge base. In fact, new ideas often occur when analytical, synthetic and symbolic knowledge intertwines. It remains unclear, though, which combinations of knowledge bases are most conducive to innovation at the level of the firm, and how this is influenced by the knowledge bases available in the regional milieu. Therefore the contribution of this paper is threefold: i) to measure knowledge bases of firms and their regional heterogeneity in a more comprehensive way than the existing empirical literature has been able to do so far, ii) to quantitatively assess the impact of combinations of knowledge bases on innovation output, iii) to analyze the interplay between firm- and region-level knowledge bases (and combinations thereof) in generating innovations. Empirically, the paper applies econometric analysis on firm- and region-level data from Sweden. The knowledge base of firms is captured using detailed occupational data derived from linked employer-employee datasets that is merged at the firm-level with information from Community Innovation Surveys. The empirical analysis reveals in a quantitative way the extent to which the knowledge base combinations affect innovativeness of firms.

Keywords: Knowledge bases; knowledge combination; regions; innovation performance; microdata; cross-level interaction; Sweden

JEL-codes: O30; O31; R10

34 pages, February 8, 2015

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