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A patent analysis of global food and beverage firms: The persistence of innovation

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  • Oscar Alfranca

    (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, ESAB, Urgell, 187,, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: oscar.alfranca@upc.es)

  • Ruth Rama

    (Instituto de Econom�a y Geograf�a, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cient�ficas (CSIC), Pinar, 25, 28006 Madrid, Spain. E-mail: rrama@ieg.csic.es)

  • Nicholas von Tunzelmann

    (SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom)

Abstract

We explore whether current innovation has an enduring effect on future innovative activity in large, global food and beverage (F&B) companies. We analyze a sample of 16,698 patents granted in the United States over the period 1977 to 1994 to 103 F&B firms selected from the world's largest F&B multinationals. We test whether patent time series are trend stationary or difference stationary in order to detect how large the autoregressive parameter is and how enduring the impact of past innovation in these companies is. We conclude that the patent series are not consistent with the random walk model. The null hypothesis of a unit root can be rejected at the 5% level when a constant and a time trend are considered. Both utility and design patent series are stationary around a constant and a time trend. Moreover, there is a permanent component in the patent time series. Thus, global F&B firms show a stable pattern of technological accumulation in which “success breeds success.” “Old” innovators are the ones to foster both important changes and new ways of packaging products among F&B multinationals. The effect of past innovation is almost permanent. By contrast, other potential stimuli to technological change have only transitory effects on innovation. Patterns of technological accumulation vary in specific F&B industries. Past experience in design is important in highly processed foods and beverages, but not in agribusinesses and basic foodstuffs. Patterns of technological accumulation are similar in both smaller multinationals|newcomers and large, established multinationals. [EconLit citations : O330, F230, L660] © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/agr.10021
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Agribusiness.

Volume (Year): 18 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 349-368

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Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:18:y:2002:i:3:p:349-368

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Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1520-6297

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References

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  1. Geroski, P. A. & Van Reenen, J. & Walters, C. F., 1997. "How persistently do firms innovate?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-48, March.
  2. Freeman, Chris, 1994. "The Economics of Technical Change," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 463-514, October.
  3. Ruth Rama, 1996. "Empirical study on sources of innovation in international food and beverage industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 123-134.
  4. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Empirical Patterns of Firm Growth and R&D Investment: A QuUality LadderModel Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 6753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107.
  12. G. N. Von Tunzelmann, 1998. "Localized Technological Search And Multi-Technology Companies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2-3), pages 231-256.
  13. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1999. "Technological entry, exit and survival: an empirical analysis of patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 643-660, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2012. "Inside innovation persistence: New evidence from Italian micro-data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 341-353.
  2. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2013. "Path Dependent Patterns of Persistence in Productivity Growth," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201323, University of Turin.
  3. Azar, Goudarz, 2012. "Inpatriates and Expatriates: Sources of Strategic Human Capital for Multinational Food and Beverage Firms," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 15(A).
  4. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2010. "Universities look beyond the patent policy discourse in their intellectual property strategies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201010, University of Turin.
  5. Colombelli Alessandra & Quatraro Francesco, 2012. "Persistence of innovation and knowledge structure: Evidence from a sample of Italian firms," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201205, University of Turin.
  6. Alessandra Colombelli & Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "The persistence of firms' knowledge base: A quantile approach to Italian data," Working Papers hal-00867132, HAL.
  7. Ruth Rama, 2008. "Foreign investment innovation: a review of selected policies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 353-363, August.
  8. Cristiano Antonelli & Francesco Crespi & Giuseppe Scellato, 2013. "Internal and external factors in innovation persistence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 256-280, April.
  9. Acosta, Manuel & Coronado, Daniel & Toribio, Mª Rosario, 2011. "The use of scientific knowledge by Spanish agrifood firms," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 507-516, August.

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