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Distance to the frontier and the perception of innovation barriers across European countries

Werner Hölzl () and Jürgen Janger ()

Research Policy, 2014, vol. 43, issue 4, 707-725

Abstract: Barriers to innovation have mainly been studied in a single country context. This paper studies differences in the perception of innovation barriers between innovative and non-innovative firms for 18 EU countries. The countries are grouped by their distance to the technological frontier using Community Innovation Surveys for the years 2002–2004 and 2004–2006. The results show that knowledge barriers related to the availability of skilled labour, innovation partners and technological knowledge are more important for firms located in countries close to the frontier, while the opposite is true regarding the availability of external finance. Moreover, while the share of innovators decreases with the distance to the technological frontier, the share of firms not interested or in no need of innovation increases. This is consistent with the idea that as firms approach the technological frontier, they increasingly need to focus on the creation of own knowledge and the adoption of innovation-based growth strategies to stay competitive.

Keywords: Innovation barriers; Distance to the frontier; Europe; Innovation policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O32 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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