Discussion paper

DP2712 Complementarities in Innovation Policy

This Paper develops a framework for testing discrete complementarities in innovation policy using European data on obstacles to innovation. We propose a discrete test of supermodularity in innovation policy leading to a number of inequality constraints. We apply our test to two types of innovation decisions: to innovate or not, and if so, by how much. We find that industries display a considerable amount of complementarity, with some industries being complementary across all obstacles. We also find that the lack of internal human capital (skilled personnel) is complementary to all the other obstacles in almost all industries. In this sense, our results suggest that internal human capital is key to any innovation policy, insofar that it is complementary to all the other factors that might hamper innovation activities.


Röller, L and P Mohnen (2001), ‘DP2712 Complementarities in Innovation Policy‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 2712. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp2712