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Breaking the waves: a Poisson regression approach to Schumpeterian clustering of basic innovations

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  • Gerald Silverberg
  • Bart Verspagen

Abstract

The Schumpeterian theory of long waves has given rise to an intense debate on the existence of clusters of basic innovations. Silverberg and Lehnert have criticised the empirical part of this literature on several methodological accounts. In this paper, we propose the methodology of Poisson regression as a logical way of incorporating this criticism. We construct a new time series for basic innovations (based on previously used time series), and use this to test the hypothesis that basic innovations cluster in time. We define the concept of clustering in various precise ways before undertaking the statistical tests. The evidence we find supports only the 'weakest' of our clustering hypotheses, i.e., that the data display overdispersion. We thus conclude that the authors who have argued that a long wave in economic life is driven by clusters of basic innovations have stretched the statistical evidence too far. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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  • Gerald Silverberg & Bart Verspagen, 2003. "Breaking the waves: a Poisson regression approach to Schumpeterian clustering of basic innovations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 671-693, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:27:y:2003:i:5:p:671-693
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 49-74, Fall.
    2. 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, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    3. Solomou, Solomos, 1986. "Innovation Clusters and Kondratieff Long Waves in Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 101-112, June.
    4. Crepon, Bruno & Duguet, Emmanuel, 1997. "Research and development, competition and innovation pseudo-maximum likelihood and simulated maximum likelihood methods applied to count data models with heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 355-378, August.
    5. Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1990. "Are There Schumpeterian Waves of Innovations?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 81-92, March.
    6. Silverberg, Gerald & Lehnert, Doris, 1993. "Long waves and 'evolutionary chaos' in a simple Schumpeterian model of embodied technical change," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 9-37, June.
    7. Cincera, Michele, 1997. "Patents, R&D, and Technological Spillovers at the Firm Level: Some Evidence from Econometric Count Models for Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 265-280, May-June.
    8. Crepon, Bruno & Duguet, Emmanuel, 1997. "Estimating the Innovation Function from Patent Numbers: GMM on Count Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 243-263, May-June.
    9. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerald Silverberg & Bart Verspagen, 2007. "Self-organization of R&D search in complex technology spaces," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 2(2), pages 195-210, December.
    2. Rossi, Federica, 2002. "An introductory overview of innovation studies," MPRA Paper 9106, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2008.
    3. Alessandro Nuvolari & Valentina Tartari, 2009. "Mr Woodcroft and the value of English patents of invention, 1617-1852," Working Papers 9015, Economic History Society.
    4. Courvisanos, Jerry, 2009. "Political aspects of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1117-1124, September.
    5. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R., 2010. "Technical Change and Industrial Dynamics as Evolutionary Processes," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    6. Fontana, Roberto & Geuna, Aldo & Matt, Mireille, 2006. "Factors affecting university-industry R&D projects: The importance of searching, screening and signalling," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 309-323, March.
    7. Nuvolari, Alessandro & Tartari, Valentina, 2011. "Bennet Woodcroft and the value of English patents, 1617-1841," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 97-115, January.
    8. Silverberg, Gerald, 2005. "When is a Wave a Wave? Long Waves as Empirical and Theoretical Constructs from a Complex Systems Perspective," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    9. de Groot, E.A. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2006. "Stability through cycles," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2006-07, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    10. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2006. "Explaining the distribution of firm growth rates," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 235-256, June.
    11. Francois Lafond & Daniel Kim, 2017. "Long-run dynamics of the U.S. patent classification system," Papers 1703.02104, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2018.
    12. Fagerberg, Jan & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. "Technology-gaps, innovation-diffusion and transformation: an evolutionary interpretation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1291-1304, December.
    13. Silverberg, G. & Verspagen, B., 2003. "Brewing the future: stylized facts about innovation and their confrontation with a percolation model," Working Papers 03.06, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
    14. G. Silverberg, 2007. "Long Waves: Conceptual, Empirical and Modelling Issues," Chapters,in: Elgar Companion to Neo-Schumpeterian Economics, chapter 50 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Ulrich Witt, 2009. "Propositions About Novelty," Post-Print hal-00688183, HAL.
    16. Silverberg, Gerald & Verspagen, Bart, 2005. "A percolation model of innovation in complex technology spaces," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 225-244, January.
    17. Susan H. Xu & Zhaolin Li, 2007. "Managing a Single-Product Assemble-to-Order System with Technology Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(9), pages 1467-1485, September.
    18. Silverberg, Gerald, 2002. "The discrete charm of the bourgeoisie: quantum and continuous perspectives on innovation and growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1275-1289, December.
    19. repec:eee:tefoso:v:129:y:2018:i:c:p:88-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Stadler, Manfred, 2013. "Scientific breakthroughs, innovation clusters and stochastic growth cycles," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 60, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    21. Tsoulfidis, Lefteris & Papageorgiou, Aris, 2017. "The Recurrence of Long Cycles: Theories, Stylized Facts and Figures," MPRA Paper 82853, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Nov 2017.
    22. Witt, Ulrich, 2009. "Propositions about novelty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 311-320, May.
    23. Sartorello Spinola, Danilo, 2018. "Instability constraints and development traps: An empirical analysis of growth cycles and economic volatility in Latin America," MERIT Working Papers 002, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    24. de Groot, E.A. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2005. "Cycles in basic innovations," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2005-35, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.

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