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Edited by David B. Audretsch, Oliver Falck, Stephan Heblich and Adam Lederer
Chapter 25: How Do Young Innovative Companies Innovate?
25 How do young innovative companies innovate? Gabriele Pellegrino, Mariacristina Piva and Marco Vivarelli INTRODUCTION Both the scientific community and policy-makers are showing increasing interest in the role that young innovative companies (YICs) play in the new technology implementation process, as these ultimately contribute to the renewal of the industrial structure and to aggregate economic growth.1 For instance, one possible explanation of the transatlantic productivity gap could be found in the revealed capacity of the US economy to generate an increasing number of young innovative firms that manage to survive and introduce new products at the core of emerging sectors. On the contrary, young European firms reveal lower innovative capacity and most are doomed to early failure, the process resulting in churning rather than in innovative industrial dynamics (see Bartelsman et al., 2004; Santarelli and Vivarelli, 2007). There are several different sources of innovation at the firm level; together with inhouse and external R&D activities, technological acquisition (TA) in its embodied (machinery and equipment) and disembodied forms must be taken into account. This input–output framework can be seen as an extension of the ‘knowledge production function’ (KPF, initially put forward by Griliches, 1979), a tool for describing the transformation process running from innovative inputs to innovative outputs. While most previous microeconometric research focuses on the R&D–Innovation– Productivity chain (see next section), few studies explicitly discuss the role of TA and the possible differences in the KPF across firms of different ages. By using microdata from the...
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