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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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  1. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1998. "Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," NBER Working Papers 6360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  3. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  4. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2002. "Going Public When You Can in Biotechnology," NBER Working Papers 8954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2002. "Who Is Selling the Ivory Tower? Sources of Growth in University Licensing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 90-104, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Maximo Torero, 2000. "Analyzing the Spillover Mechanism on the Semiconductor Industry in the Silicon Valley and Route 128," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0090, Econometric Society.
  8. Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard C. Levin & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1993. "On the Sources and Significance of Interindustry Differences in Technological Opportunities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1052, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  12. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Entorf, Horst & Fegert, Jörg & Kölch, Michael, 2004. "Children in need of medical innovation," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 22605, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2006. "Innovation, Competition and Welfare-Enhancing Monopoly," NBER Working Papers 12094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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