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Growing by leaps and inches: creative destruction, real cost reduction, and inching up

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  • Michael R. Darby
  • Lynne G. Zucker

Abstract

Most firms achieve perfective progress, incrementally improving commodities or productivity. But technological progress is concentrated in a few firms achieving metamorphic progress: forming or transforming industries with technological breakthroughs (e.g., biotechnology, lasers, semiconductors, nanotechnology). Unless congruent with incumbents' science and technology base, metamorphic progress promotes entry. Scientific breakthroughs embodied in discovering scientists, protected by natural excludability and transferred by learning-by-doing-with at the bench generally drive metamorphic progress. Embodied knowledge is rivalrous and leads to entry and industry dominance by star scientist--linked firms. Incorporating this scientific entrepreneurial process is essential to improving--if not transforming--endogenous growth models. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): Sep ()
Pages: 13-42

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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddpr:y:2003:i:sep:p:13-42

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Keywords: Research and development ; Intellectual property ; Venture capital;

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References

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  4. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
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  6. Stephan, Paula E & Everhart, Stephen S, 1998. " The Changing Rewards to Science: The Case of Biotechnology," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 141-51, March.
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  9. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Economics of Invention: A Survey of the Literature," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32, pages 101.
  10. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1991. "On the application of robust, regression- based diagnostics to models of conditional means and conditional variances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 5-46, January.
  11. Richard Jensen & Marie Thursby, 1998. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Tale of University Licensing," NBER Working Papers 6698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2000. "Who is Selling the Ivory Tower? Sources of Growth in University Licensing," NBER Working Papers 7718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R, 2001. " Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 37-58, January.
  14. Gary P. Pisano & Richard M.J. Bohmer & Amy C. Edmondson, 2001. "Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(6), pages 752-768, June.
  15. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2002. "Going Public When You Can in Biotechnology," NBER Working Papers 8954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff S. Armstrong, 2001. "Commercializing Knowledge: University Science, Knowledge Capture, and Firm Performance in Biotechnology," NBER Working Papers 8499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 2007. "Star Scientists, Innovation and Regional and National Immigration," NBER Working Papers 13547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John V. Duca & Mine K. Yücel, 2002. "An overview of science and cents: exploring the economics of biotechnology," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20008, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2006. "Innovation, Competition and Welfare-Enhancing Monopoly," NBER Working Papers 12094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Entorf, Horst & Fegert, Jörg & Kölch, Michael, 2004. "Children in Need of Medical Innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-49, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker & Andrew Wang, 2003. "Universities, Joint Ventures, and Success in the Advanced Technology Program," NBER Working Papers 9463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ouimet, Paige & Zarutskie, Rebecca, 2014. "Who works for startups? The relation between firm age, employee age, and growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(3), pages 386-407.
  9. Chava, Sudheer & Oettl, Alexander & Subramanian, Ajay & Subramanian, Krishnamurthy V., 2013. "Banking deregulation and innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 759-774.

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