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Breaking the waves: a Poisson regression approach to Schumpeterian clustering of basic innovations

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  • Gerald Silverberg
  • Bart Verspagen

Abstract

The Schumpeterian theory of long waves has given rise to an intense debate on the existence of clusters of basic innovations. Silverberg and Lehnert have criticised the empirical part of this literature on several methodological accounts. In this paper, we propose the methodology of Poisson regression as a logical way of incorporating this criticism. We construct a new time series for basic innovations (based on previously used time series), and use this to test the hypothesis that basic innovations cluster in time. We define the concept of clustering in various precise ways before undertaking the statistical tests. The evidence we find supports only the 'weakest' of our clustering hypotheses, i.e., that the data display overdispersion. We thus conclude that the authors who have argued that a long wave in economic life is driven by clusters of basic innovations have stretched the statistical evidence too far. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2003)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 671-693

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:27:y:2003:i:5:p:671-693

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  1. Crepon, Bruno & Duguet, Emmanuel, 1997. "Estimating the Innovation Function from Patent Numbers: GMM on Count Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 243-63, May-June.
  2. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," NBER Working Papers 7833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E., 1995. "Research and Development, Competition and Innovation; Pseudo Maximum Likelihood and Simulated Maximum Likelihood Methods Applied to Count Data Models with Heterogeneity," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 95.08, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  5. Silverberg, Gerald & Lehnert, Doris, 1993. "Long waves and 'evolutionary chaos' in a simple Schumpeterian model of embodied technical change," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 9-37, June.
  6. Solomou, Solomos, 1986. "Innovation Clusters and Kondratieff Long Waves in Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 101-12, June.
  7. Raa, T. ten & Wolff, E.N., 2000. "Engines of Growth in the U.S. Economy," Discussion Paper 2000-77, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1990. "Are There Schumpeterian Waves of Innovations?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 81-92, March.
  9. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, December.
  10. Cincera, Michele, 1997. "Patents, R&D, and Technological Spillovers at the Firm Level: Some Evidence from Econometric Count Models for Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 265-80, May-June.
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