Productivity and Innovation

Overview: The Department
Firms and Markets

Research Area

Productivity and Innovation

Research profile

The focal goal of the "Productivity and Innovation" research area is the empirical understanding of the input and output drivers of firm performance by means of the analysis of sectoral and micro-datasets from the official statistics. A particular focus lies on the assessment of comparable datasets developed within international research consortia including, for example, on small and medium enterprises (SME) and intangible capital.

Methodologically, our empirical analysis is based on parametric and non-parametric productivity decompositions and efficiency analysis as well as the structural estimation of production functions. These techniques are, in particular, applied to the study of efficiency and productivity growth in research and knowledge intensive services. Efficiency analysis’ is specifically used to investigate performance of utilities in network industries within the Leibniz Project on the "Efficiency of Municipal Infrastructures".

A major driver of productivity growth is innovation. The main focus of this research area lies on the study of the effectiveness of different policy tools aiming at fostering innovation as well as the growth and performance of firms, industries and geographical regions. Of particular interest are those policies and innovations that help reducing the input of natural resources as well as the environmental burden of economic activities. Therefore, we put a particular emphasis on the study of the economic impact of a greening of the economy. Productivity enhancing agglomeration effects can be reached through the exploitation of firms’ economies of scale and scope as well as regional knowledge spillovers. Hence, geographical structures play a crucial role for the performance and competitiveness of an economy. Therefore, one of the focuses of our research in this field lies in the identification and analysis of geographical specialization-clusters in Germany and Europe.

Representative Projects

Municipal infrastructure companies against the background of energy policy and demographic change (KOMIED)
Research project funded by the Leibniz Association, Funding line 5: Women in academic leadership positions of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (Leibniz Competition 2013), 2013-2016

Smart Public Intangibles (SPINTAN)
Report commissioned by the European Commission, The Seventh Framework Programme, 2013-2016

SME performance review
Report commissioned by DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission, 2013
The full report 2012/2013 is available at: SME Performance Review

R&D intensive industries and knowledge-intensive services in international competition
Report commissioned by Expert Commission for Research and Innovation of the German Government (EFI)

The economic importance of the technological and innovation support for medium enterprises
Report commissioned by the German Ministry for Economic and Technological Affairs

Employment effects of renewable energies in Germany: Expansion and operation – today and tomorrow
Report commissioned by the German Ministry for Environment, 2011-2014

Representative Publications

Temporary Agency Work and Firm Competitiveness: Evidence from German Manufacturing Firms
Sebastian Nielen, Alexander Schiersch
In: Industrial Relations (2013), forthcoming.

Intangibles, Can They Explain the Dispersion in Return Rates?
Bernd Görzig, Martin Gornig
In: The Review of Income and Wealth, 59 (2013), 4, 648-664.

R&D Efficiency and Barriers to Entry: A Two Stage Semi-Parametric DEA Approach
Astrid Cullmann, Jens Schmidt-Ehmcke, Petra Zloczysti
In: Oxford Economic Papers, 64 (2012), 1, 176-196.

Green Jobs?: Economic Impacts of Renewable Energy in Germany
Ulrike Lehr, Christian Lutz, Dietmar Edler
In: Energy Policy, 47 (2012), 358-364.