New Empirical Methods and Simulation Techniques
Edited by Pier Paolo Saviotti
Chapter 8: An Evolutionary View on Persistence in Innovation: An Empirical Application of Duration Models
C. Le Bas, A. Cabagnols and C. Gay
8. An evolutionary view on persistence in innovation: an empirical application of duration models1 C. Le Bas, A. Cabagnols and C. Gay OPENING ANOTHER BLACK BOX: THE DETERMINANTS OF THE CONTINUITY OF FIRMS’ INNOVATING BEHAVIOUR Many contributions to the economics of technological innovation explain why ﬁrms in a speciﬁc context innovate during one period of time and why others do not. These contributions are concerned with analysing the determinants of innovating behaviour (see for instance Cohen, 1995; Geroski, 1994; Malerba and Orsenigo, 1996; Nelson and Winter, 1982; Patel and Pavitt, 1995; Tirole, 1988). Once it is acknowledged that some ﬁrms innovate over a long time period and others fail to do so, what keeps a ﬁrm innovative over time? What are the factors explaining why ﬁrms innovate persistently? Economic theory has not paid much attention to this question, whereas empirical studies are more numerous. Geroski et al. (1997), with patent and direct innovation data concerning UK ﬁrms show that very few ﬁrms are persistently innovative. Malerba, Orsenigo and Peretto (1997) build a Schumpeterian framework in which persistence in innovation is related to technological cumulativeness, ‘learning to learn’ and new research opportunities. Associated to industrial heterogeneity these phenomena produce concentration, stability in the ranking of innovators and low turnover in the population of innovators. All these are characteristics of the ‘routinized’ regime (Winter, 1984). Ceﬁs (1999) with a sample of UK ﬁrms suggests the ﬁrms which are systematic innovators and earn proﬁts above the average have a high...
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