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The impact of standards and regulation on innovation in uncertain markets

Blind, Knut; Petersen, Sören S.; Riillo, Cesare A.F.

This study analyses the impact of formal standards and regulation on firms’ innovation efficiency, considering different levels of market uncertainty. We argue that formal standards and regulation have different effects, depending on the extent of market uncertainty derived from theoretical considerations about information asymmetry and regulatory capture. Our empirical analysis is based on the German Community Innovation Survey (CIS). The results show that formal standards lead to lower innovation efficiency in markets with low uncertainty, while regulations have the opposite effect. In cases of high market uncertainty, we observe that regulation leads to lower innovation efficiency, while formal standards have the reverse effect. Our results have important implications for the future application of both instruments, showing that their benefits heavily depend on the market environment.
Published in: Research Policy, 10.1016/j.respol.2016.11.003, Elsevier