The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 901–922 | Cite as

The effects of human capital, R&D and firm’s innovation on patents: a panel study on Dutch food firms

  • Mark Vancauteren


This paper analyzes the determinants of a firm’s patent output using data for 2000–2008 which enables us to take into account the role of workers’ skills, other firm’s innovation (process, product, organization) as well as other important firm characteristics including unobserved firm-level heterogeneity. The main results, robust across specifications, suggest a positive and significant effect of process innovation and workers’ skills on patent counts while product innovation becomes an important determinant in explaining forward citations. The inclusion of unobserved heterogeneity is essential in the analysis and seems to affect our results.


Innovation Patents Patent production functions 

JEL classification

C33 D22 O30 



We thank participants of the 146th EAAE Seminar on “Technology transfer as a driver of innovative entrepreneurship in agriculture and the agri-food industry” held in Chania (15-16/072015).


  1. Acosta, M., Coronado, D., Leon, M. D., & Martinez, M. (2009). Production of university technological knowledge in European regions: Evidence from patent data. Regional Studies, 43, 1167–1181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, J., Chiang, D., & Jensen, J. (2003). The influence of federal laboratory R&D on industrial research. Review of Economics and Statistics, 85, 1003–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aghion, P., Bloom, N., Blundell, R., Griffith, R., & Howitt, P. (2005). Competition and innovation: An inverted-U relationship. The Quarterly Journal of Economic, 120, 701–728.Google Scholar
  4. Alarcon, S., & Polonio, L. (2014). Patents, research & development and technological cooperation in the Spanish agri-food industry. New Medit, 3, 23–29.Google Scholar
  5. Alfranca, O., Rama, R., & von Tuzelmann, N. (2002). A patent analysis of global food and beverage firms: The persistence of innovation. Agribusiness, 18, 349–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Alfranca, O., Rama, R., & von Tuzelmann, N. (2004). Innovation spells in the multinational agri-food sector. Technovation, 24, 599–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Amemiya, T. (1985). Advanced Econometrics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Arundel, A., & Kabla, I. (1998). What percentage of innovations are patented? Empirical estimates for European firms. Research Policy, 27, 127–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Avermaete, T., Viaene, J., Morgan, E., Pitts, E., Crawford, N., & Mahon, D. (2004). Determinants of product and process innovation in small food manufacturing firms. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 15, 474–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Balasubramanian, N., & Sivadasan, J. (2011). What happens when firms patent? New evidence from U.S. economic census data. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 93, 126–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Batterink, M., Wubben, E., & Omta, S. (2006). Factors related to innovative output in the Dutch agrifood industry. Journal on Chain and Network Science, 6, 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bloom, N., & Van Reenen, J. (2002). Patents, real options and firm performance. The Economic Journal, 112, 97–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brewin, D., Monchuk, D., & Partridge, M. D. (2009). Examining the adoption of product and process innovations in the Canadian food processing. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 57, 1744–7976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brouwer, E., & Kleinknecht, A. (1999). Innovative output, and a firm’s propensity to patent: An exploration of CIS micro data. Research Policy, 28, 615–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cameron, C., & Trivedi, P. (2013). Regression Analysis of Count Data (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS). (2010). Patentsaanvragers en–aanvragen uit Nederland: Eerste koppelingen van patentregistraties met het Algemeen Bedrijvenregister.Google Scholar
  17. Confederation of Food and Drink Industries Europe (CIAA). (2010). Supporting the competitiveness of the European food and drink industry. CIAA Competitiveness Report 2010.Google Scholar
  18. Correa, J. A. (2012). Innovation and competition: an unstable relationship. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 27, 160–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. de Jong, J., & Vermeulen, P. (2006). Determinants of product innovations in small firms. A comparison across industries. International Small Business Journal, 24, 587–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Demsetz, H. (1969). Information and efficiency: Another viewpoint. Journal of Law and Economics, 12, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dobbelaere S., Vancauteren M. (2014). Market imperfections, skills and TFP: Firm-level evidence on Belgium and the Netherlands. NBB Working Paper 268, Paper prepared for the NBB colloquium on Total Factor Productivity: measurement, determinants and effects.Google Scholar
  22. Dobson, P., & Chakraborty, W. (2009). Private labels and branded goods: Consumers horrors and heroes. In A. Ezrachi & U. Bernitz (Eds.), Private Labels, Brands and Competition Policy: The Changing Landscape of Retail Competition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Dustmann, C., & Rochina-Barrachina, M. E. (2007). Selection correction in panel data models: An application to the estimation of females’ wage equation. Econometrics Journal, 10, 263–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Faber, J., & Hensen, A. (2004). Innovation capabilities of European nations—cross-national analysis of patents and sales of product innovations. Research Policy, 33, 193–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gallié, E. P., & Legros, D. (2012). Firms’ human capital, R&D and innovation: a study on French firms. Empirical Economics, 43, 581–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. García, M., & Burns, J. (1999). Sources of technological development in the Spanish food & drink industry: A `Supplier-dominated’ industry. Agribusiness, 15, 431–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gopinath, M., & Vasavada, U. (1999). Patents, R&D, and market structure in the U.S. food processing industry. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 24, 127–139.Google Scholar
  28. Grunert, K., Harmsen, H., Meulenberg, M., Kuiper, E., Ottowitz, T., Declerck, F., et al. (1997). A framework for analysing innovation in the food sector. In B. Traill & K. G. Grunert (Eds.), Product and Process Innovation in the Food Sector. London: Blackie Academic.Google Scholar
  29. Hall B. (2011). Innovation and productivity, NBER Working paper No. 17178.Google Scholar
  30. Hall, B., Harhoff, D. (2012). Recent research on the economics of patents, NBER Working Paper No. 17773.Google Scholar
  31. Hall, B., Helmers, C., Rogers, M., & Sena, V. (2013). The importance (or not) of patents to UK firms. Oxford Economic Papers, 65, 603–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Horwitz, F., Heng, C., & Quazi, H. (2003). Finders, keepers? Attracting, motivating and retaining knowledge workers. Human Resource Management Journal, 13, 23–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Huiban, J., & Boushima, Z. (1998). Innovation and the quality of labour factor: An empirical investigation in the French food industry. Small Business Economics, 10, 389–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kanwar, S., & Evenson, R. (2003). Does intellectual property protection spur technological change? Oxford Economic Papers, 55, 235–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Karantininis, K., Sauer, J., & Furtan, W. (2011). Innovation and integration in the agri-food industry. Food Policy, 35, 112–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Licht G., Zoz K. (2000). Patents and R&D—An econometric investigation using applications for German, European and US Patents by German companies. In D. Encaoua, B. Hall, F. Laisney, J. Mairesse (Eds.), The economics and econometrics of innovation, 307–338.Google Scholar
  37. Mansfield, E. (1986). Patents and innovation: an empirical study. Management Science, 32, 173–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Menrad, K. (2004). Innovations in the food industry in Germany. Research Policy, 33, 845–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Min, Y., & Agresti, A. (2005). Random effect models for repeated measures of zero-inflated count data. Statistical Modelling, 5, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Moser, P. (2012). Innovation without patents: Evidence from world’s fairs. Journal of Law and Economics, 55, 43–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nagaoka, S., Motohashi, K., & Goto, A. (2010). Patent Statistics as an Innovation Indicator. In B. Hall & N. Rosenberg (Eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  42. Narula R., Zanfei A. (2003). Globalisation of innovation the role of multinational enterprises. DRUID Working Papers 03-15, Copenhagen Business School.Google Scholar
  43. Pavitt, K. (1984). Sectoral pattern of technological change: towards a taxonomy and theory. Research Theory, 13, 343–373.Google Scholar
  44. Peeters, C., & Van Pottelsberghe, B. (2006). Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 16, 109–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Peneder, M. (2007). Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation. Vienna: Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO).Google Scholar
  46. Roper, S., & Hewitt-Dundas, N. (2008). Innovation persistence: Survey and case study evidence. Research Policy, 37, 149–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rubenstein, K. D. (2003). Transferring public research: The patent licensing mechanism in agriculture. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 28, 111–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sampath, B., & Ziedonis, A. (2004). Patent citations and the economic value of patents: A preliminary assessment. In H. Moed, W. Glanzel, & U. Schmoch (Eds.), Handbook of Quantitative Science and Technology Research. Boston: Kluwer, Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  49. Sanyang, S. E., Kao, T. C., & Haung, W. C. (2009). Comparative study of sustainable and non-sustainable interventions in technology development and transfer to the women’s vegetable gardens in the Gambia. Journal of Technology Transfer, 34, 59–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pajak, S. (2010). Do Innovative Firms Rely on Big Secrets? An Analysis of IP Protection Strategies with the CIS 4 Survey. ENST Telecom ParisTech: Mimeo.Google Scholar
  51. Staub, K., & Winkelmann, S. (2013). Consistent estimation of zero-inflated count models. Health Economics, 22, 673–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sutton, J. (2012). Competing in Capabilities: The Globalization Process. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Un, C., & Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2008). Do subsidiaries of foreign MNEs invest more in R&D than domestic firms? Research Policy, 37, 1812–1828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Van Beveren I., & Vanormelingen S. (2014). Human capital, firm capabilities and productivity growth. Working Paper Research 257, National Bank of Belgium.Google Scholar
  55. van Galen M., Logatcheva K., Bakker, T., Oosterkamp E., Jukema G. (2013). Innovatie in de levensmiddelenindustrie. Lei rapport 2103-036. The Hague: Lei Wageningen.Google Scholar
  56. Vancauteren, M., Melenberg, B., Plasmans, J., & Bongard, R. (2015). Innovation and Productivity of Dutch Firms: A Panel Data Analysis. Mimeo: Tilburg University.Google Scholar
  57. Weiss, C., & Wittkopp, A. (2005). Retailer concentration and product innovation in food manufacturing. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 32, 219–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wijnands, J., van der Meulen, H., & Poppe, K. (2007). Competitiveness of the European Food Industry: An Economic and Legal Assessment 2007. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  59. Wooldridge, J. (1995). Selection corrections for panel data models under conditional mean independence assumptions. Journal of Econometrics, 68, 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wooldridge, J. (2005). Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 20, 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Statistics NetherlandsHeerlenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations