The impact of the 2008 financial crisis on European enterprises: the role of innovation systems

18 december 2014

While after the 2008 financial crisis most European enterprises were faced with a reduction in the demand for their products, some were not. This study examines to which extent this depends on the overall innovation performance of their domestic country. The innovativeness of a country is reflected by the share of frequent innovators in a country and by the level of technological specialisation of a country. Our results show that the share of frequent innovators in a country does not affect the probability that individual enterprises are faced with negative demand effects of an economic crisis. If we interpret the share of frequent innovators as an indicator of the overall performance level of innovation of a country, this implies that – despite the overall innovativeness of a country might help to shorten times of recovery after a crisis – it does not mitigate the crisis’ effects on the turnover of individual enterprises. Our results further show a negative effect of technological specialisation: higher levels of technological specialisation are associated with a higher probability for individual enterprises to be faced with negative demand effects of an economic crisis. The size of this effect is considerable: on average, the difference in the probability that enterprises are faced with negative demand effects between the lowest and highest level of technical specialisation is approximately 10% points. Finally, our findings also show that smaller and older firms were more often faced by a reduction in their demand than larger and younger firms.



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Auteur(s): dr. J.M.P. de Kok, dr. O. Som, dr. P. Neuhäusler


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