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Technical Change, Efficiency, Firm Size and Age in an R&D Intensive Sector

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  • Elina Berghäll

Abstract

The relationship between firm size and age relative to technical change and efficiency is examined in a highly innovative and dynamic sector, the Finnish ICT equipment manufacturing industry. A stochastic frontier model is applied to an unbalanced firm level panel over the period 1990?2003. The sample is representative of almost half of corporate R&D in Finland. The Method of Moments and Battese-Coelli efficiency measures are obtained to compare permanent and time-varying efficiency levels. Results show firm age to be relatively insignificant. New firms do not dominate technical change. In contrast, firm size makes a substantial contribution to productivity growth, technical change and efficiency. High elasticity of factor inputs result in, on average, highly increasing returns to scale. These factors point towards growing concentration and capital-intensity, which can be expected to further widen the productivity gap between small and large firms. To survive, smaller firms may need to combine frontier technology adoption with expanding scale, e.g., by mergers, to improve both technical and scale efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 390.

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Date of creation: 04 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:390

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Keywords: ICT industry; total factor productivity; technical change; technical efficiency; R&D elasticity; firm size; firm age;

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  1. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2002. "The Financing of Research and Development," NBER Working Papers 8773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francesco Daveri & Olmo Silva, 2004. "Not only Nokia: what Finland tells us about "new economy" growth," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 117-163, 04.
  3. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  4. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  5. Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 255-274, 06.
  6. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-90, September.
  7. Rajshree Agarwal & Michael Gort, 2002. "Firm and Product Life Cycles and Firm Survival," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 184-190, May.
  8. Link, Albert N, 1980. "Firm Size and Efficient Entrepreneurial Activity: A Reformulation of the Schumpeter Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 771-82, August.
  9. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
  10. Autio, Erkko & Yli-Renko, Helena, 1998. "New, technology-based firms in small open economies--An analysis based on the Finnish experience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 973-987, April.
  11. Paul Stoneman & Otto Toivanen, 2001. "The Impact of Revised Recommended Accounting Practices on R&D Reporting by UK Firms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 123-136.
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