Innovation for economic performance: The case of Latin American firms

Available from: 
May 2013
Paper author(s): 
Elena Arias Ortiz (Inter-American Development Bank)
Gustavo Crespi (Inter-American Development Bank)
Ezequiel Tacsir (Inter-American Development Bank and UNU-MERIT)
Fernando Vargas (Inter-American Development Bank)
Pluvia Zuñiga (UNU-MERIT)
Microeconomics, Competition and Productivity

In this paper, a wide range of innovation indicators are analysed in order to describe the innovation behaviour of manufacturing firms in LAC using the recently released Enterprise Surveys 2010. The Enterprise Surveys define innovation rates as the share of firms introducing product and process innovations. The survey also measures the proportion of firms investing in research and development (R&D) and filing for intellectual property rights (IPRs). The aim of this note is to understand the main characteristics of innovative firms and to gather new evidence with regard to the nature of the innovation process in the region. Statistics about the performance of LAC firms are provided using different types of indicators to measure firms' innovative behaviour. In particular, differences in innovation performance and effort by country, sector, and key firm characteristics, such as being a multinational or exporter, are explored. Those firms in LAC that are top R&D performers are identified, and the analysis closes with an exploration of firm characteristics that strongly correlate with the probability of being a top R&D performer in the region.



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