Small Business Economics

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 59–75 | Cite as

Is the R&D behaviour of fast-growing SMEs different? Evidence from CIS III data for 16 countries

  • Werner HölzlEmail author


This paper studies the R&D behaviour of fast growing SMEs using CIS III data for 16 countries. We group the countries into three categories of countries having roughly the same stage of technological development. Our first finding is that R&D is more important to high-growth SMEs in countries that are closer to the technological frontier. The second finding is that high-growth SMEs are only more innovative than non-high-growth SMEs in countries close to the technological frontier. This suggests that gazelles derive much of their drive from the exploitation of comparative advantages. From a policy perspective, this indicates that there are important limits to centralising policies that aim to foster high-growth SMEs.


R&D High-growth firms Europe CIS 

JEL Classifications

L25 L26 O31 P52 



This paper has been presented at the workshop “Drivers and impacts of corporate R&D of SMEs” in September 2008 at the JRC-IPTS in Seville. I wish to thank the participants, especially Marco Vivarelli (the editor) and Pedro Faria, for comments that helped to improve the paper. The research has been financed by the European Commission under contract no. 022534 (Sectoral Innovation Watch). I wish to thank Erkko Autio, Klaus Friesenbichler, Hugo Hollanders and Andreas Reinstaller for useful comments at an early stage of this research. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)ViennaAustria

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