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Is the Tendency to Variation a Chief Cause of Progress?

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  • Cohen, Wesley M
  • Malerba, Franco

Abstract

This paper briefly reviews the sources of the diversity of innovative activity within industries, and interprets the literature to suggest that there are three ways in which such diversity may stimulate technological progress, including a selection effect, a breadth effect and a complementarity effect. Using industry-level data from the Yale survey administered in the 1980s, the paper presents preliminary empirical results on the relationship between the diversity of R&D activities within industries and their rate of technical advance. This exploratory exercise finds that, controlling for industry R&D intensity, greater diversity in innovative activity is associated with a more rapid pace of technological change. Policy implications are considered. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial & Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 587-608

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:10:y:2001:i:3:p:587-608

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Cited by:
  1. Aaron Chatterji & Edward Glaeser & William Kerr, 2013. "Clusters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 14, pages 129-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Duysters, Geert & Lokshin, Boris, 2007. "Determinants of alliance portfolio complexity and its effect on innovative performance of companies," MERIT Working Papers, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 033, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. J. Metcalfe, 2002. "On the Optimality of the Competitive Process: Kimura's Theorem and Market Dynamics," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 109-133, May.
  4. E. Stam & J.G. Lambooy, 2012. "Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Space, and Place: Evolutionary Economic Geography meets Austrian Economics," Working Papers, Utrecht School of Economics 12-11, Utrecht School of Economics.
  5. André van Stel & Ingrid Verheul, 2007. "Entrepreneurial diversity and economic growth," Scales Research Reports, EIM Business and Policy Research H200701, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  6. World Bank, 2009. "Mozambique - Investment Climate Assessment - 2009 : Sustaining and Broadening Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3158, The World Bank.
  7. Wilfried Zidorn & Marcus Wagner, 2012. "Too Much of a Good Thing: The Role of Alliance Portfolio Diversity for Innovation Output in the Biotechnology Industry," DRUID Working Papers, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies 12-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

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