Innovation and industrial renewal in Sweden, 1970–2007

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Innovation and industrial renewal in Sweden, 1970–2007. / Sjöö, Karolin.

I: Scandinavian Economic History Review, Vol. 64, Nr. 3, 09.2016, s. 258-277.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Innovation and industrial renewal in Sweden, 1970–2007

AU - Sjöö, Karolin

PY - 2016/9

Y1 - 2016/9

N2 - This study explores the question of whether the Swedish innovation output of the 1970s and 1980s (and the following decades) indicates structural lock-in or renewal. It is motivated by inconsistent explanations in the current literature about the relation between the economic slowdown and subsequent industrial renewal, as well as a lack of research focusing, in this context, on the primary driver of economic growth and structural change: innovation. By observing the number and type of innovations as they hit the market, the data in this paper tell a real time story about micro level innovation activity during the time that the economic crisis unfolds. The analysis considers Swedish innovation output between 1970 and 2007, characterising the number of significant innovations, their novelty, and their origin (including size of firm and industry sector). Three central findings emerge, defined by both the time period and the character of innovations. First, the magnitude of innovation activity peaks in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Second, starting in the late 1970s, small firms begin to outperform large firms in terms of both innovation quantity and quality (i.e. world market novelties). Third, the 1980s saw a distinct shift in the industrial origin of innovations, with software and telecom becoming the leaders in innovation output. The findings suggest that the observed industrial renewal is more nuanced than what has emerged from previous research.

AB - This study explores the question of whether the Swedish innovation output of the 1970s and 1980s (and the following decades) indicates structural lock-in or renewal. It is motivated by inconsistent explanations in the current literature about the relation between the economic slowdown and subsequent industrial renewal, as well as a lack of research focusing, in this context, on the primary driver of economic growth and structural change: innovation. By observing the number and type of innovations as they hit the market, the data in this paper tell a real time story about micro level innovation activity during the time that the economic crisis unfolds. The analysis considers Swedish innovation output between 1970 and 2007, characterising the number of significant innovations, their novelty, and their origin (including size of firm and industry sector). Three central findings emerge, defined by both the time period and the character of innovations. First, the magnitude of innovation activity peaks in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Second, starting in the late 1970s, small firms begin to outperform large firms in terms of both innovation quantity and quality (i.e. world market novelties). Third, the 1980s saw a distinct shift in the industrial origin of innovations, with software and telecom becoming the leaders in innovation output. The findings suggest that the observed industrial renewal is more nuanced than what has emerged from previous research.

KW - industrial renewal

KW - Innovation

KW - innovation indicators

KW - literature-based innovation output (LBIO)

KW - technological change

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84982296354&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/03585522.2016.1218928

DO - 10.1080/03585522.2016.1218928

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84982296354

VL - 64

SP - 258

EP - 277

JO - Scandinavian Economic History Review

JF - Scandinavian Economic History Review

SN - 1750-2837

IS - 3

ER -