Tag Archives: innovation

Inequality and inclusive growth : Are education and innovation favoring firm performance and well-being?

FEMISE is pleased to announce the publication of its research project FEM42-10, “ Inequality and inclusive growth in the South Mediterranean region: Are education and innovation activities favoring firm performance and citizens’ wellbeing?”.

The research project was coordinated by Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso (University Jaume I and University of Goettingen) and includes the following 3 papers:

Returns to Vocational and University Education in Egypt

While tertiary skills are important for growth in developed countries, it is primary and secondary education that are related to development in developing countries. Despite the substantial expansion in technical and vocational education in Egypt, the labor market lacks technical skilled workers not only in numbers but also in competences. This paper examines the impact of education on labor market outcomes in Egypt, with a focus on returns to vocational secondary and technical higher education in 1998, 2006 and 2012. We provide estimates of incremental rates of return to education based on selectivity corrected earnings equations and quantile regressions that give credence to the view that technical education has generally been inequality reducing in Egypt. The main policy implication of this paper’s analysis is that quality and labor market relevance of vocational education remains the key to an effective reform. Encouraging private businesses to invest in vocational education will be of little use if the trainees are still faced with social stigma that relegates them to low-paid jobs. Therefore, a policy recommendation is to design governmental measures to improve the ‘image’ of vocational education in Egypt.

Gender Gap and Firm Performance in Developing Countries

This paper uses firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) to investigate productivity gaps between female and male-managed companies in developing countries and to compare the outcomes obtained for different regions in the world. We depart from the previous literature by using the gender of the top manager as target variable, which is newly available in the 2016 version of the WBES. The main results indicate that it is crucial to distinguish between female management and female ownership and also the confluence between both. We find that when the firms are managed by females and there are not female owners, they show a higher average labour productivity and TFP. However, if females are among the owners and a female is the top manager, then their productivity is lower than for other firms. These results are very heterogeneous among regions. In particular, results in South Saharan Africa, East Asia and South Asia seems to be driving the general results, whereas in Latin America and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, female participation in ownership seems to be negatively related to firm performance.

Real convergence between ENP and southern European countries: a cluster analysis

This paper analyses the convergence pattern of GDP per capita, productivity, inequality and unemployment in both ENP and southern European (SE) countries. It follows the methodology proposed by Phillips and Sul (2007, 2009) in which different convergence paths can be distinguished among heterogeneous economies involved in a convergence process. This heterogeneity is modelled through a nonlinear time varying factor model, which provides flexibility in studying idiosyncratic behaviours over time and across section. The main results from the convergence analysis show that whereas there is convergence in unemployment, GDP per capita and productivity between EU and ENP countries, no convergence is found for inequality. Among the challenges of an evolving neighbourhood, inclusive economic development should be included in the new ENP approach.

THE NEXT SOCIETY : FEMISE participates in action plan to support innovation in the Mediterranean

A successful launch, in Greece, for THE NEXT SOCIETY, a movement gathering entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, public and private innovation stakeholders in Europe and the Mediterranean.

This community took the opportunity to unveil its action plan implemented over 4 years, with the support of the European Commission. Its activities aim to accompany change in the region by placing the private sector at the core of the dialogue as well as the innovation and competitiveness  measures. THE NEXT SOCIETY echoes an inclusive philosophy based on corporate social responsibility and supports the emergence of talents and new leaders by targeting start-ups, clusters and technology transfer offices.

On the occasion of the event, co-organised by ANIMA Investment Network and Enterprise Greece on May 16th in Athens, almost a hundred Euro-Mediterranean professionals and experts exchanged views on the activities implemented by the initiative, in the presence of Greek Ministers Mr. Dimitris Papadimitriou, Minister of Economy and Development and Mr. Costas Fotakis, Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation.

According to Candace Johnson, president of EBAN (The European Trade Association for Early Stage Investors) “… the entrepreneurs of Maghreb, Middle-East and Africa are the solutions to the world’s problem”. Vladimir Rojanski, from the DG NEAR at the European Commission, underlined the importance of job creation and the development of SMEs and start-ups, as well as the European Union’s strong desire to support innovation through new financing mechanisms in the region.

THE NEXT SOCIETY activates change at every level

On May 16th in Athens, THE NEXT SOCIETY presented a comprehensive action plan supported by the European Commission, which impacts several  levels of the innovation ecosystem:

  • Improve policy frameworks: THE NEXT SOCIETY establishes a public-private dialogue and benchmarks the performance of Mediterranean innovation ecosystems in order to define and implement country strategic roadmaps and improve innovation support strategies.
  • Foster start-up success: THE NEXT SOCIETY offers tailor-made support to Mediterranean start-ups to help them go international and raise funds thanks to workshops and training sessions, immersion into foreign markets and incubation in European innovation hubs, meetings with investors and long-term coaching by committed mentors.
  • Promote and internationalise clusters: THE NEXT SOCIETY develops peer-learning services for business and industrial clusters as well as foreign partnership and guide them towards a Cluster Excellence management approach.
  • Support technology transfer offices (TTO): THE NEXT SOCIETY trains TTO managers like entrepreneurs and help them improve their services, market their innovation portfolio  and meet potential clients.


As presented by Dr Maryse Louis (General Manager FEMISE, Programs Manager Economic Research Forum) during the launch event in Athens, FEMISE and its affiliates Institut de la Méditerranée and Economic Research Forum will essentially contribute in the two Activities described below.

Dr Maryse Louis (General Manager FEMISE, Programs Manager Economic Research Forum) and Dr Constantin Tsakas (General Secretary FEMISE, General Manager Institut de la Méditerranée)

National Innovation and Competitiveness Monitor (NICM) : Here  in-depth analysis and assessment of existing definitions, scoreboards, benchmarks and relevant studies will take place. This will allow defining new concepts, creating a south-Med scoreboard and a national scoreboard for each country as well as preparing country specific studies on innovation and drafting policy briefs. The way the outputs of this activity will be communicated is an essential part of its success. This will be made through meetings organised throughout the projects, several workshops and conferences and through the country studies and the policy Briefs that will be prepared for each country.

Value Chain Analysis : The objective here will be to encourage enterprises (national / international) to identify and use the technological / innovative capacities of the MED countries.A General overview of sectoral development will be provided to show how the level of high tech exports change dover time by sector in each of the 7 countries. Then, FEMISE will focus on looking which products have performed best in exports, raising the question of where the new comparative advantages for each of the seven countries lie. Lastly, analysing the conditions of success stories at the firm leve will shed light on how have firms succeeded in bringing these new comparative advantages to the fore.


Mail : welcome@thenextsociety.co

Twitter @TheNext_Society


www.thenextsociety.co (coming soon)


Vol 8: Knowledge-Based Economic Policy Development in the Arab World- IGI International

Driouchi_Cover_knowledgeUnder the title: Knowledge-Based Economic Policy Development in the Arab World, IGI global published a new Edited Volume of FEMISE by Dr. Ahmed Driouchi, Al-Akhawen university in Morocco.  The volume  is based on a FEMISE funded research to which were added other contributions from international experts.

To read more and order the Book, click here

The book focuses on knowledge economy as the most important engine for economic growth and development under the globalising world economies. This publication analyses the major issues that constrain further access to knowledge economy in the Arab countries with comparisons in Eastern and Central European economies. Researchers, business practitioners, and academics interested in new economic and development inclusive growth policies will benefit greatly from the wide variety of discussion in this publication.

Table of Contents
Terry L. Roe

Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 1
Knowledge Economy in the Arab World: Towards New Economic Development Policies  (pages 1-21)
Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 2
Why a Benchmarking with EEE Countries?  (pages 22-42)
Cristina Boboc, Emilia Titan

Chapter 3
School Attainment, Knowledge Economy in Arab Countries, and Comparisons with EEE Economies  (pages 44-84)
Ghita Bentouila, Alae Gamar

Chapter 4
The Situation of Knowledge Economy in the Arab and EEE Regions  (pages 85-103)
Daniel Pele

Chapter 5
Knowledge, Local Development, and Urbanization in Arab Economies  (pages 104-123)
Nada Zouag, Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 6
How Local Development is Achieved in Relation to Knowledge in EEE Countries  (pages 124-145)
Cristina Boboc, Emilia Titan

Chapter 7
Production, Trade, Knowledge Economy, and ICTs in Arab Countries  (pages 147-171)
Nada Zouag, Amale Achehboune

Chapter 8
The Oil and Gas Sectors, Renewable Energy, and Environmental Performance in the Arab World  (pages 172-228)
Hajar El Alouani, Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 9
Harnessing Knowledge for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Arab Countries  (pages 229-244)
Abdelkader Djeflat

Chapter 10
Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation, and Knowledge Economy in Arab Countries  (pages 245-272)
Nada Zouag, Molk Kadiri

Chapter 11
Unemployment Persistence, Risks of Skill Obsolescence, and Impacts on the Knowledge Economy in Arab Countries  (pages 273-291)
Amale Acheboune, Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 12
Education Attainment and Feminization of Labor Markets in Arab Countries with Comparisons to Eastern and Central European Countries  (pages 292-311)
Fatima-Zohra Filali Adib, Amale Achehboune

Chapter 13
Rents from Natural Resources and Relations to Knowledge Economy in Arab Countries  (pages 313-334)
Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 14
Doing Business and Imperfections in the Development of Knowledge Economy in the Arab Countries  (pages 335-363)
Ahmed Driouchi

Chapter 15
Knowledge Governance and Economic Growth in Arab Countries  (pages 364-393)
Antonio Rodriguez Andrès

Chapter 16
Policy Outcomes and What Can be Learned by Arab Countries from EEE Economies  (pages 394-410)
Cristina Boboc, Emilia Titan

Does Government Support for Private Innovation Matter? Firm Level Evidence from Turkey and Poland

The aim of the project is to analyze in a comparative perspective the government support for innovation by first examining the main existing instruments of financial support for innovation in Turkey and Poland, and secondly to assess their effectiveness by applying recent econometric techniques to firm-level data for both countries obtained from the Community Innovation Survey (CIS).Comparing Turkey to Poland is both meaningful and promising from the policy-analysis point of view. Both countries are comparable in terms of level economic development and technological capabilities, i.e. the ability of their economies to create knowledge and exploit it commercially. Both have undergone deep market-oriented reforms in the last decades, Turkey since 1980, Poland since 1989, resulting in significant catching-up of their economies. However as the possibilities for further growth based on structural change and eliminating obstacles to business are shrinking, the problem of building a knowledge-based economy comes to the fore.
In Turkey, one can observe the growing popularity and the generous practices of public incentives in industrial R&D and innovation, in addition to the recent trends in public policies to support technological entrepreneurship and commercialization of research output. Since 2004, significant changes and improvements that have taken place in Turkey concerning science and technology policy schemes have actually influenced the national innovation system in a number of ways: important increase has been observed in public support provided to private R&D; diversification of direct support programmes for private R&D and innovation occurred, which was tailored to the needs of potential innovators; widening of the scope of existing fiscal incentives for private R&D activities and implementation of new ones occurred; implementation of new call-based grant programmes targeted to technology areas and industries based on national priorities. Considering the large resource allocation for the government involvements, there is a growing and urgent need for systematic monitoring and evaluation of R&D and innovation policies in Turkey.In Poland the science, technology and innovation (STI) policy has been made second-best during economic transition, lacking funding, co-ordination and vision. The institutional architecture has evolved implying lack of continuity and short institutional memory. A major breakthrough occurred after 2004 when considerable funds for innovation were release from the EU structural funds. Three principle areas of support can be distinguished: the creation of technologies, technology absorption and indirect support. However with respect to public programmes targeting firms, technology absorption dominates all other instruments. Consequently it is legitimate to ask, whether the EU-funds are being spent in the best possible way, and in particular, whether they contribute to an enhanced innovation performance of economy.To assess the efficiency of public support the same econometric methodology is applied to the Turkish and Polish 2008-2010 editions of the Community Innovation Survey for manufacturing firms. Two models are estimated: one following the now classical CDM model and assessing the role of innovation spendings, but assuming government support exogenous; and another controlling for the endogeneity of support but assuming a simplified version of the innovation performance equation. Depending on data availability, extensions of the analysis for both countries are offered: for Turkey the estimation of a full-fledged CDM model; for Poland the analysis of panel data for 2006-2010 and an assessment of the efficiency of specific kinds of public support.The evidence indicates that government support contributes to higher innovation spending by firms and this in turn improves their chances to introduce product innovations. The positive impact remains valid even when a possibly non-random selection of firms for government support programmes is controlled for. Extended analysis for Turkey proved a positive relationship between innovation and firm productivity.On the other hand, substantial differences between various kinds of public aid were identified. In particular, the support from local government proved inefficient or less efficient than the support from central government or European Union. Moreover in Poland, the grants for investment in new machinery and equipment and human resources upgrading proved to contribute significantly less to innovation performance than the support for R&D activities in firms.In terms of policy recommendations, the report supports an increase in the volume of innovation support and in the number of instruments used in Turkey, however a more specific analysis is needed to explain the inefficiency of support from local government. The recommendation for Poland is to redesign the innovation support schemes for firms so as to put more accents on R&D activities and the development of truly new products and technologies.