The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 432–457 | Cite as

The contribution of university, private and public sector resources to Italian regional innovation system (in)efficiency

  • Cristian Barra
  • Roberto Zotti


This paper investigates the regional innovation system (RIS) efficiency, and its determinants, in Italy through a stochastic frontier analysis and using the concept of a knowledge production function. The contribution of university, private and public sector resources devoted to research and development (R&D), in generating innovation, has been examined, as well as the impact of several exogenous environmental variables on RIS efficiency. The empirical findings are in favour of the importance of R&D investments taking place in the universities and in the private sector, which benefit the most to regional innovation activities; the evidence also suggests the relevance of the knowledge context in which the firms operate as the existence of an intermediation structure, such as a university technology transfer office, has an important role on the innovation process. State-level policies can be detrimental for overall efficiency, and instead special interventions for regions in the Southern area should be designed.


Regional innovation system Technical efficiency Knowledge production function 

JEL Classification

O31 C14 C67 R12 



The authors wish to thank Sergio Destefanis, Ornella Wanda Maietta, the editor and two anonymous referees for helpful comments on a previous version of this paper. Any remaining errors are solely the authors responsibility.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly

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