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On firm growth in networks

Author

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  • Riccaboni, Massimo
  • Pammolli, Fabio

Abstract

This paper is explorative in nature. Based on an empirical analysis of two different industrial settings (life sciences, LS; information and communication technologies, ICT), it investigates network growth and firm growth in networks. We find a remarkable correspondence between a few fundamental findings of the ‘old’ stochastic approach to the analysis of firm internal growth, and empirically observed patterns of firm external growth through collaborative agreements. We show that scale-free behavior in real-world industrial networks can be accounted for by a general and parsimonious model, originally developed by Herbert Simon in 1955, based on entry and proportional growth. However, relevant departures from the stochastic benchmark are revealed that cannot be ascribed to the effect of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and growth autocorrelation. Moreover, different regimes of growth are found to be at work in the life sciences for originators versus developers of new business opportunities, reflecting the fact that growth is driven by specialization and division of labor in the processes of generation and attraction/development of technological opportunities.
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Suggested Citation

  • Riccaboni, Massimo & Pammolli, Fabio, 2002. "On firm growth in networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1405-1416, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:31:y:2002:i:8-9:p:1405-1416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2002. "Technological Regimes and the Growth of Networks: An Empirical Analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 205-215, November.
    2. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
    3. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
    4. Brock, W A, 1999. "Scaling in Economics: A Reader's Guide," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 409-446, September.
    5. Orsenigo, L. & Pammolli, F. & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2001. "Technological change and network dynamics: Lessons from the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 485-508, March.
    6. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-896, September.
    7. Freeman, C., 1991. "Networks of innovators: A synthesis of research issues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 499-514, October.
    8. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "The changing technology of technological change: general and abstract knowledge and the division of innovative labour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 523-532, September.
    9. 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, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas & Zimmermann, J-B, 2004. "Networks as Emergent Structures from Bilateral Collaboration," Research Memorandum 017, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. König, Michael & Liu, Xiaodong & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "R&D Networks: Theory, Empirics and Policy Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 9872, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Giarratana, Marco S., 2004. "The birth of a new industry: entry by start-ups and the drivers of firm growth: The case of encryption software," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 787-806, July.
    4. Mario V. Tomasello & Mauro Napoletano & Antonios Garas & Frank Schweitzer, 2017. "The rise and fall of R&D networks," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 617-646.
    5. Wegberg Marc van, 2003. "A note on network structure: functional relationships between network indicators," Research Memorandum 049, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    6. Robin Cowan & Nicolas Jonard & Jean-Benoit Zimmermann, 2007. "Bilateral Collaboration and the Emergence of Innovation Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(7), pages 1051-1067, July.
    7. Anna Giunta & Domenico Scalera & Annamaria Nifo, 2008. "Divisione del lavoro, crescita e divari di performance nell'industria italiana degli anni '90," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0097, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    8. M. Koenig & Claudio J. Tessone & Yves Zenou, "undated". "A Dynamic Model of Network Formation with Strategic Interactions," Working Papers CCSS-09-006, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    9. König, Michael David, 2016. "The formation of networks with local spillovers and limited observability," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    10. Cowan, Robin, 2004. "Network models of innovation and knowledge diffusion," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Daniele Schilirò, 2007. "Knowledge, Learning, Networks and Performance of Firms in Knowledge-Based Economies," CRANEC - Working Papers del Centro di Ricerche in Analisi economica e sviluppo economico internazionale crn0702, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Centro di Ricerche in Analisi economica e sviluppo economico internazionale (CRANEC).
    12. repec:zur:econwp:142 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. M. C. Guardo & K. R. Harrigan, 2016. "Shaping the path to inventive activity: the role of past experience in R&D alliances," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 250-269, April.
    14. Giunta, Anna & Nifo, Annamaria & Scalera, Domenico, 2009. "Subcontracting in the Italian industry. Labour Division, Firms’ Growth and North-South Divide," MPRA Paper 13084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p5487a6cm is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment

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