This paper is an empirical analysis of knowledge capital and performance heterogeneity at the firm level. We apply new econometric methods to extensive data on innovation and innovative activities in Swedish manufacturing. A number of interesting results emerge. First, the results show that knowledge capital, defined as the ratio of innovation sales to total sales, is found to be a significant factor contributing to performance heterogeneity among firms. This relationship holds even when we control for human capital, type of output, firm size. and the entry. merger., partial closure or exit of firms. Second. knowledge capital rises with innovation input. the firm's internal knowledge for innovation, and co-operation on innovation with domestic universities. Third, when controlling for differences in innovation investments and human capital, knowledge-intensive firms are not more innovative than labor-intensive or capital-intensive firms. Fourth, organizational rigidities in innovation projects and a lack of appropriate investment sources for innovative activities are found to have a negative impact on productivity. Finally, we find a positive association between an outspoken aggressive innovation strategy, customers and a firm's internal resources for innovation and the size of innovation investment.
2002. Vol. 76, no 1, 61-85 p.