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Fundamentals or Population Dynamics and the Geographic Distribution of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises, 1976-1989

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  • Lynne G. Zucker
  • Michael R. Darby
  • Yusheng Peng

Abstract

Population ecology models are elegant in form and adequate in describing aggregate data, but poor in telling stories and predicting the location of growth. Fundamentals models emphasizing the variables central to resource mobilization, such as intellectual human capital, can predict where and when biotechnology enterprises emerge and agglomerate. Density dependence and previous founding dependence proxy many underlying processes; the legitimation and competition interpretation is more conjectural than empirically tenable. We argue and demonstrate for biotechnology that an alternative model based on the fundamentals related to resource reallocation and mobilization provides a stronger frame to explore industry formation. Fundamentals models outperform population ecology models in the estimations, while a combined model driven by fundamentals but incorporating weak population dynamics does best. In repeated dynamic simulations, the population ecology model predictions are essentially uncorrelated with the panel data on biotechnology entry by year and region while the combined model has correlation coefficients averaging above 0.8.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6414.

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Date of creation: Feb 1998
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Publication status: published as Lynne G. Zucker and Michael R. Darby, “Capturing Technological Opportunity Via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products,” Journal of Technology Transfer , January 2001, 26(1/2): 37-58.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6414

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  1. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
  2. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1991. "On the application of robust, regression- based diagnostics to models of conditional means and conditional variances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 5-46, January.
  3. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1995. "Virtuous Circles of Productivity: Star Bioscientists and the Institutional Transformation of Industry," NBER Working Papers 5342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Yusheng Peng & Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1997. "Chinese Rural Industrial Productivity and Urban Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 6202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1996. "Costly Information in Firm Transformation, Exit, or Persistent Failure," NBER Working Papers 5577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zucker, Lynne G. & Darby, Michael R., 1997. "Present at the biotechnological revolution: transformation of technological identity for a large incumbent pharmaceutical firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 429-446, December.
  7. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Maximo Torero, 1997. "Labor Mobility from Academe to Commerce," NBER Working Papers 6050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  9. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  10. Cameron, A. Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K., 1990. "Regression-based tests for overdispersion in the Poisson model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 347-364, December.
  11. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 1996. "Star Scientists, Institutions, and the Entry of Japanese Biotechnology Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 5795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R, 2001. " Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 37-58, January.
  13. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  14. Julia Porter Liebeskind & Amalya Lumerman Oliver & Lynne G. Zucker & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1995. "Social Networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms," NBER Working Papers 5320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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