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The Innovation Threshold


  • Erik Brouwer
  • Tom Poot
  • Kees Montfort



In this paper, we propose an economic model to analyse the sales out of new products. This model accounts for the fact that even among firms for which R&D is a permanent activity, a fraction of firms does not have sales of innovative products during a two-year observation period. We propose a model in which the fixed costs of introduction is a major concern in the decision making process. In a structural model we estimate the fixed costs of the market introduction of new products and explain subsequent sales of innovative products. We examine an indicator of innovative output, i.e. sales of products 'new to the firm'. We estimate fixed costs thresholds using data from the Dutch part of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) from 1998. R&D intensity, competition and market structure have a positive impact on sales of new products. The most important factors to decrease the fixed costs threshold of introduction are product related R&D investments, R&D subsidies and knowledge spillovers.
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Suggested Citation

  • Erik Brouwer & Tom Poot & Kees Montfort, 2008. "The Innovation Threshold," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 45-71, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:decono:v:156:y:2008:i:1:p:45-71 DOI: 10.1007/s10645-007-9081-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Julian Fennema & Wilko Letterie & Gerard Pfann, 2006. "The Timing of Investment Episodes in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 373-388, September.
    2. Kamien, Morton I & Schwartz, Nancy L, 1975. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 1-37, March.
    3. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "A Reprise of Size and R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 925-951, July.
    4. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
    5. Gary L. Lilien & Pamela D. Morrison & Kathleen Searls & Mary Sonnack & Eric von Hippel, 2002. "Performance Assessment of the Lead User Idea-Generation Process for New Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(8), pages 1042-1059, August.
    6. Nelson, Forrest D., 1977. "Censored regression models with unobserved, stochastic censoring thresholds," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 309-327, November.
    7. Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
    8. Kamien,Morton I. & Schwartz,Nancy L., 1982. "Market Structure and Innovation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521293853, March.
    9. Geroski, P A & Walters, C F, 1995. "Innovative Activity over the Business Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 916-928, July.
    10. Scherer, F M, 1992. "Schumpeter and Plausible Capitalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1416-1433, September.
    11. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peeters, T.J.G., 2013. "External knowledge search and use in new product development," Other publications TiSEM 300ebb34-b090-4210-b95e-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Jaap W.B. Bos & Ryan C.R. van Lamoen & Mark W.J.L. Sanders, 2011. "Producing Innovations: Determinants of Innovativity and Efficiency," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_060, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.

    More about this item


    Innovation; product R&D; threshold model; C51; L23; O30;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General


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