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Chapter 14 The Role of Cross-Country Knowledge Spillovers in Energy Innovation

Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm

ISBN: 978-1-78052-114-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-115-2

Publication date: 20 October 2011


Purpose – This chapter aims at investigating the impact of cross-border knowledge spillovers on technological innovation in the renewable energy sector.

Methodology/approach – The analysis presented in the chapter assumes that technological knowledge exhibits several tacit elements and requires established connections to flow between countries. A new measure for knowledge spillovers is obtained by weighting international R&D stocks through bilateral trade flows. The country-level patenting activity is modelled through a knowledge production function. The sample includes 18 OECD countries over the 1990–2006 period. Estimates are obtained through panel data techniques.

Findings – Our econometric results show that international knowledge developed by other countries has positive effects on the focal country's innovation in renewable energy technologies. Cross-country linkages, rather than mere geographic proximity, are found to favour cross-country knowledge spillovers.

Impact – The research contributes to the design of energy innovation policies. Public R&D is confirmed to be a relevant input to energy innovation. Coordination between countries in energy R&D activities can be required, particularly when countries maintain mutual linkages.

Originality – This study adds empirical evidence on the effect of cross-country knowledge spillovers and on the channels through which technological knowledge diffuses globally. It contributes to the emerging empirical research on energy innovation.



Garrone, P., Piscitello, L. and Wang, Y. (2011), "Chapter 14 The Role of Cross-Country Knowledge Spillovers in Energy Innovation", Verbeke, A., Tavares-Lehmann, A.T. and Van Tulder, R. (Ed.) Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 325-340.



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