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Risky innovation: The impact of internal and external R&D strategies upon the distribution of returns

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  • Mata, José
  • Woerter, Martin

Abstract

External innovation increases the profits of the median firm, but also increases dispersion and the kurtosis of the distribution of profits. This means that external strategies are risky and may require a very large number of attempts before average returns are obtained. This puts smaller firms into a position of disproportionately high risk. Despite the earlier evidence that the rewards from innovation are positively skewed, we find no effect of innovation strategies upon the skewness of the distribution of firms’ profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Mata, José & Woerter, Martin, 2013. "Risky innovation: The impact of internal and external R&D strategies upon the distribution of returns," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 495-501.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:2:p:495-501
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bartelsman, Eric & Dobbelaere, Sabien & Peters, Bettina, 2013. "Allocation of Human Capital and Innovation at the Frontier: Firm-Level Evidence on Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 7540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Yan, Tingting & Azadegan, Arash, 2017. "Comparing inter-organizational new product development strategies: Buy or ally; Supply-chain or non-supply-chain partners?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(PA), pages 21-38.
    3. Wenjing Wang, 2014. "Do specialists exit the firm outsourcing its R&D?," Economics Working Papers 2014-21, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Montresor, Sandro & Vezzani, Antonio, 2015. "The production function of top R&D investors: Accounting for size and sector heterogeneity with quantile estimations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 381-393.
    5. Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2016. "Innovation and firm growth: Does firm age play a role?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 387-400.
    6. Masatoshi Kato, 2017. "Founders’ human capital and external knowledge sourcing: An absorptive capacity perspective for innovative start-ups," Discussion Paper Series 162, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2017.
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:142-155 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Masatoshi Kato, 2016. "Internal R&D and External Knowledge Acquisition of Start-up Firms: Exploring the Role of Entrepreneurial Human Capital," Discussion Paper Series 145, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jul 2016.
    9. Falk Martin, 2015. "Employment Effects of Technological and Organizational Innovations: Evidence Based on Linked Firm-Level Data for Austria," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(3), pages 268-285, June.
    10. D'Este, Pablo & Amara, Nabil & Olmos-Peñuela, Julia, 2016. "Fostering novelty while reducing failure: Balancing the twin challenges of product innovation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 113(PB), pages 280-292.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk; Innovation; Research and development; Firm performance;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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