363-1036-00L  Empirical Innovation Economics

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersM. Wörter
Periodicityyearly recurring course
CourseDoes not take place this semester.
Language of instructionEnglish


363-1036-00 GEmpirical Innovation Economics
Does not take place this semester.
Block course
17s hrsM. Wörter

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course focuses on important factors that drive the innovation performance of firms, like innovation capabilities, the use of digital technologies, environmental and innovation policy and it shows how innovation activities relate to firm performance and to the technological dynamic of industries. We also discuss the implications of the findings for effective economic policy-making.
ObjectiveThe course provides students with the basic skills to understand and assess empirically the technological activities of firms and the technological dynamics of industries. In addition, the aim is to promote the understanding of the essential criteria for innovation policy-making.

Personal and social skills are also addressed during the course. In particular, there is the possibility to improve communication and presentation skills, the ability to develop arguments for the positions of political representatives, policy-makers, pressure groups, or NGOs in connection with innovation policy-making.
ContentThe course consists of two parts. Part I provides an introduction into important topics in the field of the economics of innovation. Part II consists of empirical exercises based on various firm-level data sets, e.g., the KOF Innovation data, data about the digitization of firms, data about environmentally friendly innovations, or patent data. In part I, we will learn about ... a) market conditions that encourage firms to invest in R&D (Research and Development) and develop new products and processes. ... b) the role of competition and market structure for the R&D activities of companies. ...c) how digital and environmentally friendly technologies diffuse among firms. ...d) how the R&D activities of firms are affected by economic crises and how firms finance their R&D activities. ...e) how we can measure the returns to R&D activities. ...f) how environmental policies and innovation policies affect the technological activities of a firm. In part II we will use the KOF Innovation Survey data, patent data, data on digitization of firms, or other longitudinal data sources, to investigate empirically the technological activities of firms in relation to the topics introduced in part I.
Lecture notesWill be provided in the course and in the e-learning environment: Link
LiteratureLiterature will be presented in the course. For an introduction into the economics of innovation see G.M. Peter Swann, The Economics of Innovation - an Introduction, Edward Elgar, 2009.
For an overview of empirical innovation studies see W.M. Cohen (2010): Fifty Years of Empirical Studies of Innovation Activities and Performance, in: B.H Hall, N. Rosenberg (eds.), Handbook of Economics of Innovation, volume 1, Elsevier, pp. 129-213.
Prerequisites / NoticeCourse is directed to advanced Master-Students and PhD Students with an interest in empirical studies.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersM. Wörter
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationStudents write a term paper on a topic of their own choice that relates to the innovation activities of companies and/or technology-driven industrial change. The term paper should be of empirical nature. Optionally, they can use the KOF firm-level data for their term paper. This firm-level data covers the period 1996-2019 and comprises information about the innovation activities of Swiss companies including information about firm performance, export activities, and market characteristics. Moreover, firm-level data on the usage and generation of environmentally friendly technologies and the usage of digital technologies by Swiss firms can be used to write the term paper. The students will give a brief presentation of their term paper towards the end of the term.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Doctorate Management, Technology, and EconomicsEconomicsWInformation
Management, Technology and Economics MasterNatural ResourcesWInformation